I want to share an experience where I almost got catfished/scammed. Desperation at times has a way of bowling us over with desire and need. When I read my own story I see how gullible I can be when my needs are dangles in front of me and then used against me to manipulate me. Sometime last year I think I had a deep need to be accompanied. I looked up escorts and found one I liked. I scheduled a meeting and she asked for me to make a deposit as good faith (10%) of her fee. I thought ... not a bad plan what’s 10$? No biggie. I made the deposit and texted her the pic showing I had. You know the rest. I sat in my apt like an imbecile for another3 hours until I realized it had been a scheme. Another time, more recently, I found an app with what I thought were escorts. She told me what hotel she was in. We texted most of the day. She told me to bring her payment in a certain gift card. I thought ... ok. That’s probably cause it protects her in case of getting arrested or soMething. I go to buy the card but I can’t find it. I ask if she will take iTunes card instead. She says maybe. Well I was unable to make our initial appt so I called to let her know. A baritone voiced guy answers. He sounds Eastern European. I’m immediately suspicious again. I ask him for her and he says I have a wrong number. Whaaa??? The girl went to sleep and I never hear from her until 1:00 am. She says sorry for falling asleep she’s ready now. Her texting was poor. I asked where was she from— she says El Paso. So I say “go miners.” She says she doesn’t know what miners are. I say... hmmm . (Everyone in El Paso knows the college mascot. ) I STILL go anyway to the hotel where she said she was at. I sat in the lobby. I texted I was there. The receptionist asked if everything was ok. I said yes. Just waiting for someone. I’m sure I look like a doofus. Then the girl asked me to text her a pic of the card with the numbers exposed. Then she said “i’ll Come right down. I’m wearing an orange shirt. “ So now I’m thinking this is dumb. Of course I want to meet this fantasy person but it’s smelling fishier and fishier. So I tell her I’m not going to rub off the numbers—- she can do it herself. Then she starts saying she just wants to verify the number is good before she comes down. We haggle like this for a while. I tell her it feels like a catfish. I want proof. She denies it’s a catfish, then she starts saying “trust me.” She shows me a pic of all these cards rubbed off with a cell phone underneath that shows part of a text message where a guy is supposedly saying she was amazing in bed. I am like red alert. She has all these cards supposedly—- and the testimony of a guy. But how can I STILL know for sure?. (Are you slapping me yet?) So then I go to the receptionist and ask ... “am I at the right hotel? “. And we try to figure out if I am or not. She asks who am I waiting for and I saw... it’s a a girl named Sharon. I show her a pic and she says nobody by that name ever checked in. So now I go back to the person who claims she’s Sharon and say nobody with your name is here. Now she (assuming she’s a girl) gets adamant about how I don’t trust her, just scratch the number and send the pic. I am STILL on the fence. So I ask her to send me a voice message. I ask if I can verify she’s a girl. She then says she’s right outside the door with the phone in hand waiting for the number. I tell her just call me, I want to hear your voice. She says her phone is messing up so she can’t. I STILL am not sure. So I say how do I know you are in the hotel? She gets belligerent. She says I’m right here ready! She then sends me a pic of her in a bathtub (supposedly in the hotel.) I ask her for a pic in front of the hotel. In front of a door of the hotel. Anything to show she’s there. Now I get a message from another number saying her old number had problems and she couldn’t send me the pic. It’s failing so she borrows another person’s phone. Then, she switches numbers a third time. Same explanation. At this point I leave because I’m tired but.... I’m STILL NOT SURE. Man. This is embarrassing to admit. So now I call back the hotel receptionist who is probably thinking I’m insane... and ask a ridiculous question : “ do you all have bathtubs in your hotel?” She puts me on hold. Meanwhile I look up the pics online. Finally she comes back and says: we have very very shallow bathtubs. I ask my final question, Johnny Cochran style: “ are they shaped like a heart ?” The receptionist laughs. No sir. The picture Sharon had sent was of heart shaped bathtubs. The kind you see in a motel, not a comfort suites. now on my way I just frustrated because I didn’t get any action. I have a stupid gift card that I don’t need. It never crosses my mind that this was all an elaborate scam. I had to document this because the desire to feel, the longing for company is soooooo strong I kept believing a lie a strong delusion. I have not tried this many times because most ppl are fakes and scammers but man this was really shitty. It only increased my desire at the time. But if you weren’t aware, European gangsters are quite smart with apps, sex, and schemes ... As smart as I am I have the same longings that can be paralyzing as the next guy.