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The man introduced himself as “John Hagen,” supposedly an engineer from nearby South Bend.
They spent several weeks sharing phone calls, text messages and email chats, but never actually met face-to-face.
Never share your Social Security number or other personally identifiable information."If you think you have been the victim of such a fraud, or if you are in the midst of an online engagement that might not be real, you can contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center or FBI at gov/contact-us/field."The FBI has issued a warning for Americans to be wary of "confidence/romance scams," after the Bureau saw a 70% annual rise in reported fraud, where dating sites were used to trick victims into sending money, purchasing items or even laundering or muling money for people met online. Department of Defense warning about "online predators on dating sites claiming to be deployed active-duty soldiers." The U. military says there are now "hundreds of claims each month from people who said they've been scammed on legitimate dating apps and social media sites—scammers have asked for money for fake service-related needs such as transportation, communications fees, processing and medical fees—even marriage."This warning relates to dating sites, but the use of Facebook as a means of executing the same types of romance scams has also become widespread. But then the fraudster will start to spin a story, perhaps there isa medical or legal emergency, stolen wallets, a loss of employment—or perhaps a sick relative our a child that has gotten into trouble. Perhaps the trickster is "visiting" overseas and needs an item purchased from the U. The initial phase of the scam can last for days, weeks, even months.
Never provide credit card numbers or bank account information without verifying the recipient’s identity.
Gwinnett County police have a warrant for the arrest of John Martin Hill, 35, who is charged with theft by deception.
Police believe Hill has pulled similar scams in four other states.
And if you're looking for love in an online dating site you must be extra-careful, because looking for love already leaves you emotionally vulnerable, but you can't let that vulnerability bleed over into other realms as well.
One good idea is to message them on a social media site and not only on the dating site or by Whats App or other messaging services.
"Most dating sites do not conduct criminal background checks," the FBI advises, "do not ignore any facts which seem inconsistent...
In 2018, more than 18,000 complaints were received with losses totalling more than 2 million. And by this time victims have bought into the potential of a relationship—they are extremely susceptible and guards have been dropped. What is a new twist is the involvement of international criminal networks, using dating sites to recruit money mules or to encourage victims to set up bank accounts through which dirty money can be laundered.
And, to state the obvious, this is likely the tip of the iceberg. One example given by the FBI is where a fraudster pretends to be a U. citizen living abroad who asks for money to come to the U. The FBI warns that such grooming is intended to set up accounts "used to facilitate criminal activities for a short period of time.
Never send money to someone you meet online, especially by wire transfer.