He’s known as the internet Casanova; Yup, that’s what they’re calling him. In the past few days I’ve been made aware of a particularly nasty episode of “how I scammed someone today.” A certain Ray Holycross, 29 years old, is crisscrossing the country and manipulating women into falling in love with him via online dating sites. It would seem he’s going after those more vulnerable, which apparently makes the scam a little easier to pull off. Once he has managed to entwine himself in his victim’s lives, he steals cash or valuables and disappears, leaving absolutely no trace.
Holycross also goes by the names of Ray Cross, and Ray Tompson, and police are currently searching for him in Oregon. Apparently reports have been filed in quite a number of states, and his victims include people (both women and men) from Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Oregon. Seems this crook goes after anyone that is fair game. Apparently this also includes men who have also come forward with accusations that he swindled them out of money and other possessions, those of which are probably best kept private.
One victim, Jennifer Clark says she met him on PlentyofFish.com and was so smitten they quickly moved in together. (A big NO-NO for anyone you meet online) “We lived together in my house…I decided that I wanted to help him.” Clark says Holycross convinced her to sell her home and car, and promised he would move to Chicago with her. Instead, he took her laptop and iPhone, withdrew $1,000 from her bank account and then vanished. In her words: “He made me feel like he was going to make it all better; take care of me. And then instead I was left with absolutely nothing.” In another twist, earlier this month Clark filed a domestic abuse report against Holycross, and alleges he became violent towards her after she confronted him about his lies.
Many of the women who met Holycross online tell a similar story. He is a charmer, but once they let him into their lives and their homes, he took off with the cash. Another victim, Tasha Hollister says she also met Holycross on PlentyofFish and that he made up stories to manipulate her. “The minute that he told me that he needed a place to stay, I just had this inkling that he was looking for me to say to him: You can stay with me.”
When I first read about this criminal, I actually laughed at the incredulity as it’s something one imagines but doesn’t expect to actually hear about. As the title states, this story is THE reason you should NEVER rush into anything when involved with online dating, and ALWAYS make sure you do some type of background check on the individual you’re in contact with. Sure, a background check will not always get the truth, and that’s a guarantee, but it’s one more defense measure to help insulate you from criminals and manipulators. The other thing is to ask direct questions and ask the other person where they have lived; perhaps you can even uncover some criminal records. However, nothing replaces the good old gut reaction. You all know what I’m talking about and you’ve all experienced that feeling of something not being quite right. Keep your wits about you and stay safe.