As a single woman, sadly I have been duped by not one but two married men online pretending to be my knight in shining armour. 

Now you might think, I’m a bit of push over but I’ve been described as a woman of the world and don’t suffer fools gladly. And on speaking to some fellow like-minded female friends, I quickly realised I was not the only one and there appears to be an army of ‘fantasy driven’ married men who are desperately trying to create the life they never had with genuine single women.

I would describe such types with lemonade budgets and champagne taste as the modern day con man. In failure of pursuit of their own happiness, they hunt women on a range of dating sites who have intellect and successful careers. 

Their victims are smart and emotionally balanced women serious about settling down. 

They on the other hand are everything but and have no intention to settle down. 

They will give you the merry go around for months and in some cases years, claiming to be single. Worst case scenario, you may be swindled for large amounts of cash.
So that’s the bad news out of the way. What’s the good news? The good news is, once you know what to look out for, these vultures stand out a mile. The rule is, from the minute you start exchanging messages:

A- Assume nothing 
B- Believe nothing
C- Confirm everything 

Whilst it’s happened to me twice, I worked out the second guy was lying before he finished his caramel latte on date numero two therefore I’d like to think I’ve cracked the vulture code. 

And knowing this is happening to women as we speak, I feel a huge sense of obligation to share this vital insight to all my sisters who are looking for The One.

Isn’t it ironic, how before we make a big purchase like buying a house or a car, we do our due diligence by hiring a solicitor to do all the relevant checks or we may take the car to a mechanic to give us reassurance it’s a safe buy. If we didn’t do such checks, we would be a laughing stock.

But when it comes to meeting a complete and utter stranger online we jump straight in because there’s a notion that it’s unromantic to carry out an element of due diligence?

Well it isn’t unromantic providing you don’t take it too far. In-fact it’s bloody well smart and enormously savvy. The trick is to spot the signs before you get too emotionally involved and without further ado here are the classic signs of a married man:

1) He’ll tell you he’s successful within minutes of messaging and if he’s Asian there’s nearly always a mention of Dubai. 

At this point he’s setting the scene he’s a successful entrepreneur and of course we all want a comfortable life with our knight in shining armour but don’t believe it and confirm it by casually asking for his company name.

If he fails to tell you or you can’t find his big shot company website and profile on Linked in, chances are he’s living a fantasy and you’re being duped my friend. Companies House is a very quick and easy way of finding out if he’s a Director at this company Click here

2) He’ll say job his job is very demanding and takes him away a lot or you may never really understand what he does for a living. 
Whatever the case he sets the scene so there is always a safe element of distance and infrequency of seeing him. The early stages are about setting the scene so he can have an excuse when he needs to spend quality time with his family instead of you. 

3) He’s most likely divorced or separated and will play the victim but for some reason the bachara’s ex won’t let him see the kids and when you ask why, you’ll get a fantasy story probably related to money to make him look successful again. If allegedly divorced, he’ll probably say, he didn’t go through the courts and gave her a very generous financial settlement. 
The level of detail is astounding. Don’t forget these guys are fantasists and have some Oscar winning story lines where even the most brazen of hearts can falter.  

4) He’ll start the relationship by calling you non-stop and to the point where you think he’s really into you. But that’s just a plan to hook you in and it will gradually decline. In fact, a pattern will emerge and you’ll find he only calls you at certain times. 

5) He’ll start calling you ‘baby’ and tell you how he’s never met anyone like you before. You’ll receive heart-warming texts first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Wow, you’re the first person he thinks of when he wakes up and goes to sleep.

Now come on ladies, think about it, no one speaks like this in a normal relationship within its early days. Again, the con man is playing a fantasy here and you’re being coerced into la la land. 

6) Now the ones you really need to watch out for are the narcissists. These guys are the most dangerous and manipulative of all but luckily even easier to spot. If you see a man posing with his big flashy car, designer watch or big house run a friggin mile. 

These are the ultimate fantasists because they are probably living in a two up two down (nothing wrong with this but there is if you have to lie about it) with not a pot to piss in.

They’ll cleverly put you on a pedestal and when you try and challenge them, you will be dropped to the ground wondering how and why you got there. Then you’ll try to get back what you had but he’ll punish you for making him feel inadequate. 

7) The profile pictures looks fake. Here’s a great link to cross check if the picture has been picked up from a site Just screen shot the picture and upload it to this site and you’ll quickly find the exact location of the picture. It’s an amazing resource. 

8) A big and obvious give away; he has two phones. He’ll tell you he has a really important job and one is purely for work, the other personal. You’ll notice he’ll guard those phones like they were his last meal on earth. You won’t get a sniff.

9) You can’t find him on any social media platforms at all. No matter how much you try and find him on some form of social network, nada! He’s made sure you can’t trace any of his steps at any time. 

10)  You only have a loose idea of where he lives and you always meet out of town or in unusual areas. He’ll tell you he doesn’t want prying eyes of the Asian community on you as a couple because people are jealous when in fact you’re being kept away from his family and kids. 

11) If you do get to the stage where you challenge him, he tries to assure you he’s single by putting a family member on the phone like his sister or nephew. Take note, this means nothing. The married man I dated put his sister on the phone to me and the second guy also offered to do the same. 

12) When you say you want to get married and have kids, adopt, walk the moon, travel the world on a unicycle playing a digeridoo he’ll mirror your aspirations. You’ll feel like you really have met the man of your dreams and cannot believe your luck. If it sounds too good to be true then it generally is. 

13) The most important thing of all the signs is trust you gut instinct. As women, this is our saving grace. Use it. It’s usually flashing its sensors for a reason. Don’t ignore that feeling in your stomach. 

So, there you have it. But before we leave you, I have collated a number of true stories from various women and would like to share these with you in hope, they will ring a chord and you will take on the ABC rule of online dating.

Email me on if you wish to add to my list of tales. Trust me everything is confidential and no names will be mentioned.