Ian, please post this story in your blog. I want other people to read about what happened so that they can learn from it and maybe it won't happen to them.
For the purpose of this story I will refer to the lady as 'Pim', but this is not her real name.
I originally found Pim on a dating site. I found her to be very attractive and we started talking. She told me that she was living on her parent's farm in a small town in Roi Et. She sent me lots of photos of her farm, her animals and the basic living conditions there.
We started talking regularly through WhatsApp, we were talking all day every day for months. After 8 months of speaking to Pim I flew out to meet with her for the first time. We arranged to meet in Phuket where I had booked a resort near the beach in Patong.
I had an amazing time with Pim in Thailand, we visited the temple, we went on boat trips, ate at nice restaurants, everything was great and I became even more in love with her at this point. After 2 weeks it was my time to return home but I could not stop thinking about Pim and within a week I had paid for a second flight to Thailand, I was going to return after 6 months but stay in Thailand for 4 weeks this time.
During my second visit I wanted to visit Pim's farm in the countryside but she told me that I wouldn't like it up there and that we should stay in Phuket. Pim told me that she had never visited Phuket before going there to meet me during my first trip.
6 months quickly passed and I was back again in Thailand with Pim. This time I did not want to leave her and was making plans for a long term future with her. I had some money available from an inheritance and I figured out that if I sold all my assets back home in the States that I would be able to buy a business in Thailand and make a life out there.
During my second visit I took Pim to our favourite restaurant and proposed to her, which she accepted. Now things were really getting serious.
Knowing my plans, Pim told me that she had found a really good deal on a house for sale. The house itself was a bit of a wreck and needed some investment. The pool was leaking water, it needed various repairs and a coat of paint. The house was being advertised for 3.8 million baht, but Pim was able to negotiate it down to 3.5 million. I thought it was a good deal, especially compared to house prices in the states.
At the time of writing this article 3.5 million baht is approximately 100,000 US dollars. It is not a massive amount of money, but it is still a lot by most peoples’ standards. I wanted to view more properties but Pim persuaded me into this specific one, using many different reasoned arguments.
So I bought the house, and setup a Thai company which would be used to own it. Although I felt like I could trust Pim, I did not want to put the house in her name, and after reading horror stories online we setup a company of which I was able to own 49%.
After the vacation I went back home to liquidate my assets and Pim was tasked with making sure the house was renovated to a high standard. I sent her money on a regular basis, I sent her 14,000 dollars to fix the roof and repair the pool. I sent 6,000 more to repair the fence and driveway gate. There were many expenses involved with repairing the property.
Things came to a head when Pim gave me a rough list of expenses and told me that she needed around 16,000 dollars to finish the house. This would include painting the walls and buying basic furniture and appliances.
I sent over the money and then things went silent. I got no response from her on WhatsApp or Facebook, I called her and the calls would not connect. I became very worried that something might have happened to her, I thought maybe she was involved in an accident. I sent a friend over to the house to speak to her but when he arrived the house was empty.
I could not think straight and was constantly worried about the situation. I ended up taking time off work to fly back and find out what was happening. I got back to my house to find it was not as completed as I thought it was. Work has been done on the house but it was still a building site and nowhere near finished. There was no sign of Pim anywhere.
I started asking around. I visited the bars that I always drank at with Pim. I got speaking to the manager of a bar in Patong where we always would drink. The manager told me that Pim used to work at another bar on the strip, apparently Pim had been working in the bar for at least 2-3 years - this was all new to me. I thought that Pim had worked at a clothing store before meeting me, she never mentioned bar work.
Although the manager gave me some information on her past, no-one I spoke to knew where Pim was. It was like she had just vanished.
I spent more time in Patong alone and depressed, I started drinking heavily. I looked through the paperwork that I had brought relating to the purchase of my house. A business card fell out for the real estate agent that sold the house. On a whim I visited their office to see if they could help me find Pim.
Although the realtor only spoke with Pim while I was buying the house, she remembered it and described it as 'the blue corner house for 1.6 million'. I showed her photos of the house on my phone and she repeated, 'yes, I remember. That blue corner house we sold for 1.6 million'.
You will probably read this story and think that it is ridiculous and that it could never happen to you. I wouldn't class myself as an idiot either, but it quickly transpired that Pim had sold me a house which cost 1.6 million for 3.5 million and simply put the difference in her own pocket.
The process of buying a house involved what seemed like thousands of pieces of paper, and Pim had dealt with most of it. She had somehow inflated the price that I paid. She then took even more funds which were supposed to be used to renovate the house. I was expecting the house to be almost finished, but when I arrived it was still in a total state of disrepair. Plus, Pim owned a large percentage of the holding company which owned the house.
The truth was starting to dawn on me and I broke down in the real estate office. While going through my paperwork with them, they pointed out that I had a copy of Pim's ID card, which featured an address for a small town in Roi Et.
I needed answers at this point and took a flight from Phuket to Bangkok. In Bangkok I rented a car and drove myself to her village. The drive took me 7 hours. She was living in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by rice fields. Finding her village was very difficult and it took hours to locate her.
I showed local people in the village photos of Pim on my phone and they told me with broken English that Pim lives in 'that house' with a farang.They pointed to a very large 4-5 bedroom house that was painted white. I should point out that ''farang'' means a foreign man, usually a white guy. They were reluctant to give me any information and I could tell that they were gossiping amongst themselves as the 'translator' tried to communicate in broken English.
The house that she supposedly lived at was protected by a gate/fence all around it. I could see most of the driveway from the roadside as the house sat on top of a hill. I decided to just see what was happening and sat outside the house in my rented car.
After 40 minutes of sitting outside this house in the middle of nowhere, my heart sank as I saw Pim walking outside the house and onto the driveway. It was definitely her, I recognized her hair, clothes, everything. Shortly after she left I saw a white man follow her out of the door and two young children. They walked around the garden together watering plants.
At this moment the gravity of the situation hit me like a brick in the face. I just couldn’t believe that I had been conned in this way. All along she had been living with a different man and raising his kids.
This is probably very anticlimactic, but I decided not to confront them and just drove away. I am not a confrontational guy and did not want to create a big situation in front of her kids. I don't know whether the other guy knew that I had been conned but by this stage I didn't care either. Maybe I am not the only boyfriend, maybe her husband just sits back while Pim earns money by conning guys out of cash. I don't know and will probably never know the truth.
After this I sought legal advice and the long and short of it is that it's going to be a very long road to try to recover my money and get out of the situation that I'm in. My lawyer said that it will take years and might not go anywhere, of course I will still need to pay the legal bills whatever happens with my case.
I will admit that I was a fool, and while all Thai women are not bad I will certainly be more cautious in the future. When my relationship becomes more serious I will definitely have you run a background check on my girlfriend before money enters the equation.