On Valentines Day this year, Dave was woken up just before 7am by a call from a private number.
The Aleksandra on the phone was less loving, more forthright and after wishing him "happy Valentine's Day", she quizzed him: "you are going to send the money?
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"When he tried to call back, using the number she had emailed him, it was disconnected.
Dave emailed her to say he was starting to doubt her story, which provoked a lengthy and impassioned response.
It was December when the first plea for help with her travel arrangements arrived in Dave's inbox.
Despite his concerns, in February Dave went to his Mount Gambier bank branch to make a transfer of 0 to Aleksandra but he was stopped by a bank employee who told him bluntly she believed he was being scammed.
But Aleksandra repeated her requests that Dave transfer money to pay for her visa and half her airfare so she could travel to Australia and arrive at "the day when our dreams and desires become real".
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When Dave's friends suggested 'Aleksandra' might even be a man, his mood changed abruptly. The Mount Gambier man shared the contents of the roughly 50 emails he received over three months conversing with 'Aleksandra' with ABC Local Radio, wanting to help prevent further victims.
The case is a textbook example of a classic dating swindle, said Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) deputy chair Delia Rickard.