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Boys and Girls, Gays, Men and Women, Homosexuals
A member whose wife worked as a manager in an Internet Cafe gives the low down from his wife's unique perspective on Internet Relationships in answer to another poster on our mailing list you can join at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LivingInThePhilippines3
You are right, George. There are Internet scams everywhere. You can't say that they are "worse" anywhere since the Internet recognizes no borders. It's not a question of "some Filipina's" scamming foreigners. All you need to do is spend some time in any of the hundreds of Internet cafes surrounding the schools and colleges in the RP to see that the greater number of participants is far more interested in computer games than anything else. You will also see quite a number of Filipinos chatting with foreigners. My wife managed several Internet cafes while going to school and afterwards and she has stories that might amaze you! There are many boys and girls, transvestites and gays, engaged in the foreigner game. Many are in it for the money, some of them just for fun.
There are cliques who challenge each other with more outrageous tricks; trying to get a foreigner to expose himself on his webcam for instance. The more successful of them play their foreigners, knowing just what words to use to extract a few dollars without ever having to ask directly. According to my wife, it is harder to find legitimate girls who use the cafes to "chat" with their foreigner boyfriends because they are often ridiculed by the others. She and I used e-mail because she drew less attention than if she were to be using chat or a webcam, but then we knew each other very well before we even started Internet communication.
Bottom lines...DON’T SEND MONEY to someone half way around the world who you've never seen! You may be supporting a gay or a guy with a family who look quite amazing on a webcam, or you might be an unwitting party to games being played by a group of “barkadas” for fun. Take the trip. See that person eye-ball to eye-ball; get to know her, her friends and family in person! Then, and only then, make up your mind whether you want to send money. At least then you'll have some idea where your money is going.
Another thing, these "scams" go both ways! She tells me that a number of foreigners use the chat rooms to line up their "entertainment" while planning vacations to the RP. They tend to play the provincial girls, some distance from the cafes clustered around the colleges, where young people aren't quite so savvy.
I know that as sure as I'm sitting here, that these words will be ignored by those who know that "their girl" is the exception.
*By way of disclaimer, Living in the Philippines should mention that it doesn't have an affiliate relationship with any of these entities.*