Love at a price

Everything has its price, but $10,000 for a chance at a date is taking advantage of people desperately looking for companionship. 

And what comes with the exorbitant price tag? Disappointment and humiliation, if you ask the clients of Javier Luna’s Matchmaker Matchmaker dating service. Not only does Luna use his high pressure tactics on elderly and disabled love-seekers to coerce them into using his services, but he also uses whatever means necessary to con his victims into signing contracts that allow the “Matchmaker” to pilfer thousands of dollars very few of the prospective clients can afford. Confusion and anxiety are Luna’s frontline offense when dealing with his clients, but he isn’t afraid of invoking the Word of God (or at least God’s messenger) and flat-out lies to seal the deal.

And no one is safe from Luna’s sales pitch. Mentally ill? No problem — sign the contract. Sex offender? No one will check — sign the contract. From Mars? Whatever. You got a credit card, right?

Luna has been doing it for years. Failed enterprises all over the U.S. show a pattern of deceptive and immoral business dealings by Luna. Each of those endeavors ended the same – with unhappy (and nearly broke) singles. Complaints from clients in the Beaumont area have resulted in Matchmaker garnering an “F” rating from the local Better Business Bureau, although the businessman seems unfazed by the bad publicity.

“That’s just the nature of the beast,” he insists. According to Luna, it isn’t his fault that Beaumont is chock full of “slow people” who are hard to please. If we are slow in Southeast Texas, we haven’t been too slow to catch on to the con perpetuated by Luna. And the slow people Luna refers to need love, too – but they have to pay dearly for the false hope of finding it with Luna’s help.

Although Luna’s clients have willingly given him their money in hopes of finding a match made in heaven, it’s the hell of an empty bank account that they ultimately find. These clients would rather have their dignity, but getting their money back would be a reasonable compromise.

While these folks might have been looking for love in the wrong place, Luna shouldn’t profit from the despair of others by ripping them off for their last dime, making promises too good to be true, and delivering nothing in return in the end. He admits that the majority of his clients are in a vulnerable position when they come to him for help – “recently widowed … recently divorced … recently out of a bad relationship … emotionally damaged.” But what these downtrodden don’t realize is that, with a call to Matchmaker, their luck is about to get even worse.

If you see his signs, take them down or call the city and report them. If you have been victimized, call the Better Business Bureau and report it. If you feel you have been lied to or otherwise scammed out of your money, report it to the police.

Those who prey on the elderly and disabled are the scum of the earth and should be arrested and prosecuted, but that can only happen with the victims’ cooperation and determination.