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Consumer Reports

Fake ATM slips aim to help a guy low on cash get the girl

By Eric Edwards | (KRT) When Joe Millionaire told his new girlfriend Zora that he didn't have $50 million, and she still decided to stay with him, a wave of "Aww, how sweet" could be heard in America's living rooms.

For women who have been accused of gold digging, this was a victory of romance over cash flow.

Yet many men remain unconvinced that money does not come into play when a woman is selecting a mate. It is rare and beautiful when you meet a woman who has forsaken her loaded boyfriend for a man of simple means. To these women, I apologize in advance for the dating suggestion I am about to submit.

Since the Fox network is unlikely to offer each single man in America a chateau in France, a butler named Paul and 20 women who will fight for his affections, we must take matters into our own hands.

And while most of the guys I know are threatened by gold diggers the same way the toothless are threatened by cavities, it would still be nice to know who is interested in our money and who is interested in us.

The folks at Los Angeles-based (doesn't get much classier than that) have devised a way to help men figure out if women are interested in money or love.

Inspired by Joe Millionaire, the Web site that specializes in gag gifts developed ATMitations.

Pullmyfinger president Richard Halpren said he was also inspired by a man who claimed to dig around ATM trash cans for bank receipts showing exceptionally high balances. He would then carry such a statement in his wallet and use it as scrap paper when he exchanged phone numbers with a woman.

When she later looked at the number, she would naturally check out the enormous bank account and any interest she had would be multiplied exponentially.

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Since most men have neither the inclination nor the time to dig through trash cans in search of a dating tool, invented its own fake ATM slips that look legitimate, show a $400 withdrawal and a whopping $314,159.26 account balance.

For $3.99, the customer gets a pack of 24 which he can carry around and put potential dates to the test.

This isn't foolproof, of course. The guy still has to be able to get to the point of the evening where phone numbers are exchanged before he can take advantage of this nifty ploy. And at that point, he should be fairly confident that he has a shot.

But I'd bet that a woman who sees that balance is unlikely to turn the man down when she gets his phone call three days later.

Of course, this trick might also backfire and get a man into trouble. If the woman likes him enough to exchange phone numbers, then the guy is unnecessarily inflating her expectations. If she thinks he is loaded and he takes her to Chili's for fine dining, then she is bound to become despondent over his stinginess.

ATMitations might make for a fun conversation starter, but only a fool would use it as a serious dating device.

You don't need fancy shoes, a gold watch or a fattened wallet to do well with a woman, just the ability to look her in the eye and somehow convince her that despite not having $314,159.26 in the bank, you'll treat her as if that was what she deserves.

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Eric Edwards, who impresses women with his hefty credit card bill, writes for The Orlando Sentinel. Comment by clicking here.


© 2003, The Orlando Sentinel Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services