My online lover wants money and I've considered shoplifting to get it

DEAR DEIDRE: I’M afraid I will lose the woman I love unless I can send her some money.

She’s 26 and South African. We met online. I’m 30. We spend hours talking and messaging each other.

She is my soulmate and is preparing to visit me soon but she asked that I send her money for her air fare.

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I’m scared to tell her that I lost my job during the pandemic and live off universal credit.

I have thought about shoplifting and selling some of the goods on eBay to get some money.

Thinking about stealing makes me panicky but I can barely afford to pay my phone bill. I need my phone if I want to keep my relationship.

DEIDRE SAYS: You should not contemplate committing a crime to hold on to her.

A good relationship is built on trust and love. It shouldn’t relate to how much money is in your bank account.

I am sorry but she is scamming you. My support pack Love Online explains how to keep safe.

And my pack on looking for work might improve your chances with job-hunting.

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