The case of Manti Te'o is neither unusual, or uncommon. Nor is it new. This has been happening since the Internet became popular with the general public.
As a taxi cab driver, in 1997 I picked up a passenger at some upscale condos, just south of the Kansas City Country Club Plaza, on Wornall Road who had been duped. He was a college student from Florida, who was in love with a woman he met online. She kept promising to go to Florida to meet him in person, but he could not wait, so he took some of his student loan money and flew here to KC to surprise her.
I picked him up from the airport and brought him to the address. He took my business card to call me back later for when he took her out to dinner or such. Thirty minute later the call came, but not to take them out on the town. It was to take him back to the airport. Her husband had answered the door.
In 1998, I picked up a 14 year old girl from the airport, going to Edwardsville, KS. She had met a California man online, who had paid for a plane ticket for her to fly out there. When she had arrived, he realized that she was not a 25-year-old woman, and put her right back on a plane home. She had used a photos of her older sister to make him think she was older.
In the case of Manti Te'o, my guess is that we will be learning that he was being played for money by a young woman. In these cases, the woman would get him interested, than start moaning about how she did not have enough money to pay rent, utilities, the phone, etc.
A common method is to claim she has a child and the father is not paying child support, so she cannot afford to feed the child, buy diapers, clothes, etc.
At some point, he begins pressuring her to meet. He wants fly to see her, so now she has to cut him off. What better way than by leukemia, as she will need more money for treatment, which will ultimately fail.
Manti Te'o is not the first, nor will he be the last, to have this done to him. I get a few IM’s a day on Skype, or Friend requests on Facebook, from some young woman, or perhaps on claiming to be, wanting to be my friend. The lead is always the same, “I loved your profile!” I’m an old fart living in a nursing home, and my profiles say that. If I wanted to get a girlfriend, I would have to go to school to take a remedial course on what to do with one.
Males are very gullible when it comes to this, and no amount of warnings is going to change that, so I will not try.
Here is more about one such young woman to was open about how she played men for money. I wrote September 9, 2001, but after the events two days later, I never did anything with it. My daughter found it on a backup disk from my old computer.
Playing Men For Money
- Female, Age 20
- Slender, But Not Skinny
- Dresses Well, But Not Overly Sexual
- Education: 9th Grade
- Pregnant Twice, Both Aborted
- Lives In Section 8 Housing With Mother
- Occupation: Playing Older Men For Money
In my travels as a taxi cab driver I've seen all types of people. I've seen people from both ends of the economic community, from the low to the ultra high. I've seen people so drunk that you have to wonder if they are trying to pickle their brains. Then, there are the ladies that get tipsy after half a glass of "Near Beer," and who are experiencing wardrobe problems. There are the people going to work, and the ones looking for work. There are the givers, the takers, and the players. This story is about one such player, the young woman described above, and for the purposes of this article, we'll call her Clariette.
Clariette considers herself as someone who is owed better things in life than what has been handed her, but without punching a time clock. Her trip into adulthood started early, at age fourteen, when she moved away from her mother and in with her boyfriend, age 15. They lived in the home of his widowed father, who drank heavily ever since the passing of the boy's mother. This is where she began to learn the art of playing an older man. She would manipulate the father sympathies by claiming the need for money to pay for personal items. Later, she would play on his loneliness, by claiming to know a young woman who may like to be with him, and even suggesting that she may consider it, though she never does either.
Finally, after three years, and two miscarriages, fathered by the son, she breaks up with him, and moves back home with her mother. However, having seen how easy it was to get money from the old man, she begins looking for new ways to meet older men to elicit money from.Generally, since 17-year-olds and 40+ year old men do not run in the same circles, she must find a different way to meet them. A cousin suggests calling a 1-900 phone number.
Nine hundred numbers: The bane of many a parent of teenagers. First introduced by ABC News in 1980 for receiving comments about the nomination of Ronald Reagan, the 900-phone line systems, and other related numbers, take in millions of dollars, daily. They have many uses, from giving out useful information, to the more exotic for people of alternate lifestyles. One of those uses became the primary way for Clariette to meet older men, a 900 dating line.
Clariette found that she could meet all kinds of men using the service. She could get to know some things about them, such as whether they worked a good paying job, or otherwise had money. As much as men think women are vane, men can be just as vane when it comes to talking about their jobs, or where they are economically. As such whittling information out of a man, who has already spent 20+ years in the work force, becomes quite easy. You just have to tickle their ego a little, and because of the anonymity of the 900 line, other than catching certain phrases that don't sound right, the men don't know they are talking to a smart child.
Once she picks her targets, she arranges to meet each one, in person during the coming week. She has already been playing the men, telling each one that she may not be able to talk to them for much longer, because she has run up her phone bill. This will be the first item on her list of things she will need to "borrow" money to pay, though if one or more of the men is particularly lonely, he will offer to pay it, before she asks. She continues this practice regarding other expenses, such as the utility bill, rent, and even claiming to have children, that need clothes, or their teeth done.
When one or more of the men realize that they have given her a few hundred (or a few thousand) dollars with no specific commitment to a future, she feigns being upset over not being trusted and leaves. Being well practiced at this, she already has three or four other men on the hook, and can always add more with a few phone calls, or a wink.
I spoke with Clariette for over 30-minutes on her life as a player of men. She seemed proud of how easy it was to get money out of older men, without even the need for sex, though she did use subtle hints of the possibility. It did not matter how old they were, or even how they looked; only how much money they had, and was willing to part with.
The number of young women becoming players of men has been growing as the number of males living well past 50 grows. It's an easy, though sometimes dangerous, way to make money, and since sex is generally not involved, it's legal. If the man gets wise, and gets angry, the police will protect her under the domestic violence laws, even arresting the man and leaving her in possession of his home, for a few days, at least.
This is something that all men my age need to be weary of. Every year, the number of young men coming of age is shrinking. When I was born, over 65% of births were male, but today the number is down to 55.6%. When you take into account the much high rate of death due to suicide (16 times), working dangerous jobs (700 times), and other causes, such as illnesses where men are discouraged from seeking medical help, the pool of available young men for young women is draining fast.
If you are a man in this situation, you need to make a choice. It might feel good to have a young woman showing an interest in you, but remember, she is likely more interested in something about mid-waist, and I'm not talking about that thing that disappears when it gets cold.