Martins Friday Inalegwu, 31, and Steincy Mathieu, 24, a husband and wife from Maple Shade, face charges of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, according to the New Jersey U. Authorities arrested Inalegwu while Mathieu remained at large. The married couple and their conspirators, including some in Nigeria, carried out the con from October through last month, according to documents in the case. In all, federal investigators identified 33 victims who were scammed around the country. Authorities alleged the scammers reached their victims through dating websites and social media, and pretended to strike up a romantic relationship with their targets. Agents found profiles allegedly used in the scam on sites including, eHarmony.
Federal law enforcement describe how to avoid dating site scams
Or maybe it was a bot? The U. Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday announced it has sued Match Group , the owner of just about all the dating apps — including Match, Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge, PlentyofFish and others — for fraudulent business practices. According to the FTC, Match tricked hundreds of thousands of consumers into buying subscriptions, exposed customers to the risk of fraud and engaged in other deceptive and unfair practices.
Scammers post profiles on dating websites, social media accounts, classified sites and even online forums to search for new victims. The scammer usually.
In order to avoid falling victim to such a person, the FBI offers several tips. First, people should only use reputable, nationally-recognized dating websites, though it is still possible for scammers to use these as well. Photos and profiles should be researched using other online search tools and people should ask questions. Officials urge people to never provide financial information, loan money or allow a bank account to be used to transfer funds on one of these sites.
People should also be wary of anyone who attempts to isolate them from their family or friends. Anyone who intends to meet with a person they have met online is urged to conduct such a meeting in a public place and to tell a friend or relative where they will be and what time they will likely return home. For anyone traveling abroad to meet someone, they should check the listing of travel advisories from the U.
State Department, provide a copy of their itinerary to family and friends, and not travel alone if possible. The FBI says people who fall victim to such a scammer may be hesitant to report the crime due to feeling embarrassed, ashamed of humiliated.
How to prove and fight online dating and romance scams
Do you have questions about your vision health? A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts. The con works something like this: You post a dating profile and up pops a promising match — good-looking, smart, funny and personable.
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. He told me he is a great cook perfect , loves the beach ditto and tries to work out but isn’t always consistent Hello, soul mate!
He said he hoped to hear from me again soon. Skip to Main Content Skip to Search. Dow Jones, a News Corp company. News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services Dow Jones. Share Facebook Twitter Permalink. By Elizabeth Bernstein. News Hub: Is It Mr.
Your Identity Could Be Used in Online Dating Scams. Here’s How to Protect Yourself.
Privacy Maintain privacy and avoid identity theft or fraud. Preventing Identity Theft Your identity is precious.
While many scams take place on dating websites, some victims have reported being approached elsewhere on social media, such as on.
If you thought online dating websites are on the rise, than you would be right. However, not everyone who creates a profile on these sites has honorable intentions. Most dating scams start innocently enough. Scammers contact victims via social media sites or through email, claiming common interests or a distant, mutual connection—such as an introduction at a wedding or other large gathering. Other scam artists make their fake profiles look as appealing as possible and wait from victims to reach out and begin the conversation.
Once a scammer has you hooked, the possibilities are limitless, but here are a few of the most common variations:. Fraudsters may use the name and likeness of actual soldier or create an entirely fake profile. They send out legitimate-seeming emails, introducing themselves as being near the end of their careers, often with older children and typically widowed under tragic circumstances. The emails are riddled with military jargon, titles and base locations, which sound impressive.
In many cases, these scammers work with one or more accomplices who pose as doctors or lawyers to extract a steady stream of money.
Dating and romance scams are very destructive — both financially and emotionally. These scams also cause significant emotional harm, with many victims reporting a break down in relationships with friends and family. With the proliferation of online dating websites, forums and social media channels, these scams are moving increasingly into the online space. Online communication channels allow scammers to operate anonymously from anywhere in the world.
No matter what web site you’ve met on (e.g., social media or online dating site), a scammer will want to move the victim to a personal email.
Author’s Note: This article is a part of a series on online scams, internet hoaxes, and media literacy. In the era of lightning-fast information and electronic services, many people incorporate the internet in their search for someone special. Dating sites like eharmony. Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and many more offer a more streamlined, fast-paced, dating experience. Then Jennie will then text a sexually explicit image to the resident and begin flirting with them. No matter what the resident says in response to the flirtation, Jennie will text the same messages verbatim to the same people.
They then have a link texted to them that leads a pornographic website. Others commented on the post showing screenshots of their interactions as well.
Year of the Catfish: 27% of Dating Site Users Scammed
The growth of online dating has led to an explosion of catfishing and the combination of lust, infatuation or love means that innocent people can get manipulated or exploited. These relationships can go on for years and often end in tragic emotional or financial consequences for the victims. Catfishers can be driven by anything from loneliness to obsession or revenge.
Scammers can use details shared on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you. Research the person’s photo and profile using online.
Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the 1 tip for avoiding a romance scam. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC. Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps, or contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Google Hangouts.
The scammers strike up a relationship with their targets to build their trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day. Then, they make up a story and ask for money. Scammers ask you to pay by wiring money, with reload cards, or with gift cards because they can get cash quickly and remain anonymous. They also know the transactions are almost impossible to reverse. If you paid a romance scammer with a gift card , contact the company that issued the card right away.
Tell them you paid a scammer with the gift card and ask if they can refund your money. Notify the website or app where you met the scammer, too. Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information.