Elina was the victim of love deception: “His cracked, raspy voice went directly into my nervous system”
Love scams are becoming more and more common. Last year, Finns lost EUR 9 million in connection with love scams. The author and historian of ideas Elina Juusola has written about her own experiences of being deceived by a charming “military” on a mission abroad.
Lots Of Love Over The Net
“Elina, I love you for bringing out my best sides”. “My dear, I miss you”.
When Elina Juusola lived in Australia, she came into contact with a man who claimed to be a British-Australian military officer through online dating. He claimed to be called Stephen and knew exactly how to put the words to charm Elina.
“When we spoke via Skype, his slightly cracked, raspy voice went straight into my nervous system,” says Elina. The conversations eased the depression that I suffered from after my mother died. Even the physical pains associated with my fibromyalgia felt better.
When Elina told “Stephen” how his voice and conversation affected her, he started calling even more often.
A Typical Victim Of Love Scams
“Stephen’s” loving conversations and messages were just what Elina needed in the difficult life situation she found herself in. She had gotten into online dating to have something fun in life. “Stephen” exceeded all expectations.
– “Stephen” was very nice, seemed well educated and could talk about anything, he even understood my Finnish sense of humour.
Later, Elina Juusola realized that a whole team had worked to bring her down. She had heard murmurs and laughter in the background as she talked to him over Skype. He always called with the camera off.
When The Dopamine Kicks In, It’S Time To Ask For Money
“Stephen” claimed to be on assignment in Afghanistan. After just a few weeks, he had stimulated Elina’s dopamine production so much that he – and his team – were able to move on to the next stage of their “relationship”.
“Stephen” sent a distress cry to Elina. He was in real trouble. He claimed that his belongings were stuck in customs in Dubai and now Elina’s money was needed to solve the problem.
I can’t wait for you to come through the door. We’re going to have so much fun and experience so much love.
He wrote: “I will do everything I can to finally solve this problem so that we can finally be together. I love you so much and miss you so much.”
A Couple Of Minutes Of Searching Revealed The Scammer
Elina Juusola sent 2000 dollars, about 2000 euros, to “Stephen”. As soon as she clicked away the amount, she realized that she had been cheated.
Elina asked her son to check out “Stephen”. It didn’t take many minutes for the son to find a wealth of negative information about “Stephens” scams online.
But the son told her, “Mom, you don’t have to click on the links I sent. It is enough to remember how “Stephen” charmed you. That he made you feel good”
Continued Chatting To Gather Evidence
Elina Juusola chose to continue chatting with “Stephen” after she discovered the fraud. She wanted to gather evidence and wrote encouragingly to him, as he continued to tell about his problems with customs in Dubai:
“You are a good leader Stephen. I know you will find a solution. You just have to, for our sake.”
“I can’t wait for you to come through the door. We’re going to have so much fun and experience so much love.”
Finns Are Cheated Out Of Millions Every Year
Matilda Hassel is a financial advisor at the Martha Association. She is sometimes contacted by concerned relatives. She says love scams increased during the coronavirus pandemic.
“In 2022, love fraudsters managed to swindle approximately EUR 9 million from Finnish victims.
Both Matilda Hassel and Elina Juusola point out that there is a lot of shame associated with love fraud. For those who fall victim to fraud, it can take years to recover, both financially and emotionally.
Elina Juusola never got her money back. But as part of processing the experience of the love deception, she, who is a historian of ideas by profession, chose to start researching the subject.
In 2018, her book Sydän saaliina – Romanssihuijarit verkossa was published. It has also been translated into English.
Elina Juusola’s Books