Warning the public about the incident, Deputy District Attorney Cherie Bourlard said “Don’t loan or invest money with anyone you have never met and only know from a dating website.
Not everyone using online dating sites is looking for love. As if all that isn’t bad enough, romance scammers are now involving their victims in online bank fraud.
The scammer even went as far as setting up a fake business website to help legitimize the claim.
According to authorities, the divorcee got her hands on 0,000 by pulling it out of her retirement account as well as refinancing her home.
In addition, Turkish authorities were able to arrest an associate of the Nigerian scammer at the bank in question.
After those initial payments came through, the Nigerian man requested that the woman help fund his oil rig business.
Detailed by San Francisco ABC news affiliate KGO-TV, a 66-year-old San Jose divorcee was swindled out of 0,000 by a Nigerian man who used an online dating site profile as bait.
Claiming to be an Irish citizen named David Holmes that worked on a Scottish oil rig, the man started talking to the divorcee through dating site Christian Mingle.com, a site that markets itself as “the online community created specifically for Christian singles looking to find friends, romance or marriage.” The relationship initially progressed from communication through the dating site to emails, text messages, flower deliveries and eventually phone calls.
Scammers create fake online profiles using photos of other people — even stolen pictures of real military personnel. And they tug at your heartstrings with made-up stories about how they need money — for emergencies, hospital bills, or travel. Here’s how it works: The scammers set up dating profiles to meet potential victims.
After they form a “relationship,” they come up with reasons to ask their love interest to set up a new bank account.
The scammers transfer stolen money into the new account, and then tell their victims to wire the money out of the country.