The victim, a divorcee, joined Christian Mingle and befriended a Nigerian man who falsely claimed to be “David Holmes,” an Irish citizen working on a Scottish oilrig, Bourland said. The scammer convinced the woman to wire him 0,000 as a loan for his oil business, with much of the money coming from her retirement account and funds she received after refinancing her home, prosecutors said.
He used a picture he said was of him but was actually an image of a male model he downloaded from the Internet, Bourland said. That money was lost and but soon after she wired another 0,000 for him to a bank in Turkey, the woman contacted the district attorney’s office.
Instead, they may ask their victim to cash money orders or cheques and wire them the proceeds.
The money orders or cheques will turn out to be fake or stolen and the victim will be left out of pocket and possibly held responsible for receiving stolen funds.
“The victim was extremely lucky to get her 0,000 back,” she said.
The office has been getting similar reports from dating website victims and “usually it’s too late, the money is already gone,” she said.
The bank the next day reported that when a man named Wisdom Onokpite, a Nigerian national, came in to withdraw the money, bank officials contacted Turkish National Police, who arrested him on suspicion of committing fraud, Bourland said.
These scammers are very skilled at building trust and know how to make vulnerable victims fall in love with them.
Regardless of the strength of your feelings towards a correspondent, you should view any requests for money as highly suspicious.
The case of the 66-year-old woman conned out of her money through a meeting on Christian should serve as a warning about fraud schemes on international dating sites, Deputy District Attorney Cherie Bourland said.
“You get the love drug in you and you end up getting duped,” Bourland said. But they never met in person.” The district attorney’s office later discovered through the man’s Skype account and email address that he was living in Nigeria, which is “a hot bed of online scams,” Bourland said.
Often, these online friendships blossom into genuine long-term relationships.