Romance scams – 80 people charged with ripping off millions of dollars

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Online, Is Dream Date a Scam?

I recently spotted Mr. Right on an online dating site. He was adorable, with big hazel eyes and salt-and-pepper hair. His profile said he was a widower and a veterinarian who travels, reads poetry and loves to shop. I worked up the nerve to write him and was thrilled when he replied, saying he was flattered to receive my email.

The scammers choose chat rooms and dating sites because the person in love offers the chance of the biggest payoffs. How Does the Scam Work? Nigerian.

We respect your privacy. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. Just over a year ago, the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—had pleaded guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites. According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud. The FBI says it may be embarrassing for victims to report this type of fraud scheme because of the personal relationships that are developed, so the real numbers are probably higher.

As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about. Eventually a pitch for money comes. Often the scammer will say an emergency situation has arisen and money is needed fast to avoid dire consequences. This makes it hard for the victim to do due diligence.

The scammer might say that an immediate family member has a medical emergency and needs money for treatment, or that he has been wrongly arrested and needs help with bail money and legal support. Run a search.

The 419 Scam: What It Is and How to Protect Yourself From It

I lucked out with an amazing fixer. As a newswire reporter focused on the terrorist group Boko Haram, he was able to provide crucial context for my story. Before that, he used to hang out with nomadic cow-herding kids, children who sell bottled water by the roadside, and budding scam artists. I told Michael I wanted to interview his scammer friends.

an alleged romance scam ring operating out of Nigeria, after an FTC Scarlet Widow created profiles on mainstream dating sites and apps.

Ken Duffy KenDuffyNews. More people are turning to online dating for a semblance of companionship during the coronavirus crisis — sites often rife with sophisticated scams targeting Americans from overseas, the FBI warns. Singles might be using online dating sites like Match. But while it might be a nice way to have human contact online, it may leave people more vulnerable to scammers who want to drain bank accounts. It might be a fake story about the inability to pay bills or a death in the family.

In one recent D. The suspect, from Nigeria, traveled to Atlanta in December, when he was arrested on a series of charges, including money laundering. Luebke said the prime suspect is currently being held in D. Luebke said the female suspect never produced the briefcase and made an excuse about why. Luebke said the crime usually starts with the crook trying to lure users into other private forms of communication. More Coronavirus News.

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Federal law enforcement describe how to avoid dating site scams

Authorities have arrested seven men across the U. The scheme, which operates out of Nigeria, targeted victims by taking on false identities on online dating websites and social media platforms with an intention to trick victims into giving them money, according to a Justice Department release. Federal authorities arrested seven of the ten men charged in the complaint on Wednesday, five of whom were in Norman, Oklahoma. Since , the co-conspirators were able to conceal the proceeds of their romance scam operations by moving money between multiple bank accounts that were opened using fraudulent identity documents.

This move allowed the defendants obscure the source of the funds and the other members of their scheme, which spanned continents.

Fraudsters are using dating sites not only to scout for people before scamming them out of money, but also to recruit ‘money mules’ for.

The promise of Internet romance is also the bait for online scams. Here are tip-offs to bogus Web lovers. They met on a dating website just before Valentine’s Day Richie described himself as “loving, caring and hard-working. Richie explained “hard-working” in the first of their many online chats. Weeks into daily instant messaging, she knew she had lost her heart to Richie. Richie claimed he was paid in U.

Over two weeks she deposited two paychecks in her bank account and wired the money to Nigeria; she wired a third payment to resolve what Richie called a “visa problem” so he could return to the United States and they “could finally meet. Then the bank called. It seems Richie’s deposited money orders were authentic. That was the last I ever heard from him.

Devastated and angry, Smalley set up a website on romance scams. Men are duped nearly as often as women, usually by male scammers posing as lonely females.

FBI warns on dating, romance Internet scams

A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim’s money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers ; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf. Number of cases rose from to in only two years.

Romance scammers create personal profiles using stolen photographs of attractive people for the purpose of asking others to contact them. This is often known as catfishing. Communications are exchanged between the scammer and victim over a period of time until the scammer feels they have connected with the victim enough to ask for money.

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CNN Ten people in Oklahoma, New York, California and Texas have been charged with conspiring to launder money that they obtained in a romance scam targeting women nationwide, federal officials say. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what’s happening in the world as it unfolds. Three of the suspects remain at large. The suspects — most of them Nigerian — would start an online relationship with women and tell them they were US citizens working overseas, according to a federal indictment released Wednesday by the US District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

They targeted women on dating websites and social media platforms, and created dating profiles using fake names, locations and images, the indictment says. Read More. They asked for gift cards and cellphones. The suspects asked the women for money and items such as iTunes gift cards or cellphones at the beginning then demanded larger amounts as the relationship progressed, the indictment says. They’d use several ways to defraud their victims, including pretending that they’d encountered a financial crisis or they needed to conduct a financial transaction and shipment.

Justice News

Are you dating or talking online to someone who says they are a military member? Have they asked you for funds or documents? Officials and websites like Military.

“You can be reached out and touched by fraudsters from all corners of the world,” You could be scammed by somebody in Russia, Nigeria. the and these various dating sites, plus Facebook and other social.

The internet is the most widely used communication network ever constructed. There are good and bad things happening on the internet, and among the bad things are ongoing attempts to scam innocent people out of their money or identities. The internet brings with it many such opportunities, and fraudsters appear to be waiting around every virtual corner with the latest in online scams. While some forms of internet fraud have gotten very sophisticated, even some of the older, less advanced plays still actually work.

If people know more about the types of scams taking place and what to look out for, we can hopefully save at least some people from getting swindled out their hard-earned cash. Related: Cybercrime stats and facts. Email scams are a type of online fraud.

10 Most Horrifying Real Online Dating Scams


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