A New Jersey man was arrested Wednesday for defrauding more than 30 victims after wooing them on internet dating sites. Rubbin Sarpong, 35, of Millville, New Jersey has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, announced U. Attorney Craig Carpenito in a press release. Sarpong concocted online dating profiles mostly portraying US military personnel stationed overseas and looking for romance. The profiles were actually made up, using fictitious or stolen identities federal prosecutors in Camden, New Jersey said. He told them he needed the money to ship gold bars to the United States, prosecutors said, but really kept it for himself and conspirators in Ghana.
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Finding love online is becoming more and more commonplace. In fact, you probably know at least one couple who met online. However, the rise in popularity of online dating has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of romance scams taking place. Dating and romance scams are nothing new, but with so many people looking for love online, they have become that much more attractive and accessible to online criminals. Plus, the countless real online love stories only serve to make this scam even easier for criminals to pull off.
Victims are often too embarrassed to come forward, so these numbers may be grossly underreported.
Scammers are getting more and more creative when it comes to extorting the past with money service businesses like western union or money gram Most romance scams begin via social media sites or online dating sites.
Embassy Malta has noted an increase in inquiries from people who have been defrauded hundreds or thousands of dollars or euros. Typically, these scam operations begin with an unsolicited communication, usually by e-mail or Facebook, from an individual claiming to be a U. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be a U. Citizens in difficulty. Common e-mail scams also involve an individual promising quick financial gain, often by assisting in the transfer of a substantial sum of money out of the country.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of fraud is to use common sense.
Feds: NJ Couple’s Online Dating Scam Costs Those Looking For Love $6 Million
In a tech-savvy world, it is common for couples to meet online through dating websites or apps. Unfortunately, not everyone joining these dating platforms is looking for true love. The frequency of online romances has caught the attention of fraudsters who manipulate people seeking companionship through romance scams. Fraudsters operating romance scams have recently taken to posing as members of the armed forces to lure their victims into a romance with what they believe to be a soldier.
Millions of Americans use dating sites, social networking sites, and chat rooms But scammers also use these sites to meet potential victims. them if they ask for money trought like western union cause u would need details.
Check out this video about how to spot and protect yourself from romance scams. Then share it with your friends. But there are steps you can take — and then tell someone about. So watch the video, learn more , and pass it on. Along with many other scams that have been circulating over the past few years – I have several that would curl your hair.
The one mentioned here – romance schemes – was perpetrated on my 89 year old dad. To date he was scammed out of 2 million dollars – and now – God rest his soul – he passed on August 6 – his whole estate gone. Unfortunately recovering money sent in these schemes is usually impossible to recover.
Western Union changes ways, but still popular with ‘romance scammers’
For example, and may claim to have a severely ill family member who requires immediate medical attention such as an expensive operation, or they may claim financial hardship due to an unfortunate run dating bad luck such as a failed business or mugging in the street. The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it common you are able to lend them format to cover scammers or dating format expenses.
Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere. They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but scammers scammers just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity. Alternatively they may format you to buy the goods yourself and dating them somewhere.
The screens light up and the scammers start their day, swapping sex and Accra, to maintain a meagre income between Western Union transfers from a of every screen, logged in on dating sites under names like Jessica.
Updated May 31, These are the foot soldiers in a global scamming enterprise that’s breaking hearts and stealing billions of dollars. In a tiny flat in Ghana, in west Africa, an aspiring entrepreneur trawls Facebook for divorced and widowed women on the other side of the world. The year-old, who calls himself Kweiku, is searching for ‘clients’ — scammer parlance for victims who can be conned online into sending money.
Kweiku sells perfume on the streets of Ghana’s capital, Accra, to maintain a meagre income between Western Union transfers from a woman he seduces online. He poses as a US soldier called ‘Johnny’, an online persona built on stolen photos, fake ID and stock scripts with storylines about urgent emergencies that can be solved with cash. While the Four Corners team is filming, Kweiku returns a missed video call from the woman and blocks his webcam with his finger so she can’t see him.
The conversation switches gears between declarations of love, sex talk and insistent requests for gifts and money. It’s really hard times here baby,” he tells her.
Report: How online romance could lead to prison time
Fraudsters are always improving on their deceptive and lucrative scamming methods alongside the continuous development of the Internet. Scammers might be getting more elaborate in their techniques, yet they take more precautions than ever before to avoid being exposed and caught by the authorities. A current trend making the headlines involves scammers setting up fake websites to replicate reputable online stores or marketplaces while carefully executing their scams.
A news story broke out in Spain earlier this year and is considered to be the largest cyber-scam in the history of the country. To avoid suspicion from the authorities, these sites would only stay live for a few days while being intensely advertised on search engines and social media before disappearing into thin air. The aim was to attract as many potential customers as possible in the shortest amount of time.
more than $2 million while posing as a soldier on online dating sites. money transfer services, including Western Union and MoneyGram.
A data review by Arkose Labs found human-driving online fraud on dating websites and social media was up a sharp 82 percent in the last half of The online-fraud prevention site found that at least every two in five login attempts and about 20 percent of new account registrations were fraudulent making this one of the highest rates of cyberattack in any industry.
Keep reading: Nigerian ‘romance’ scammers, charged in online dating scheme, caught in Norman, Dallas. Arkose reports are often run by carried out by low-paid workers in sweatshop-style organizations. For the study, Arkose looked at user sessions and attack patterns from October through December More: Single and ready to mingle? Texas third best state for singles.
The Federal Trade Commission reported that in , there were more than 25, complaints filed about romance scams. In the past two years, losses from such scams were higher than any other scams reported to the FTC. The Better Business Bureau received more than 1, complaints about online dating services in Thousands of people in the United States are swindled out of money through online dating, social media or email connections. Others are reading: 2 Dallas men plead guilty to committing federal hate crimes targeting gay men using Grindr.
Criminals sometimes pose as potential romantic matches, then lead victims on for a time before asking for money. The scammers sometimes claim they are stuck overseas and need money to travel, that they have medical bills or other emergency need for funds.
How I set out to catch a romance scammer
Typically, the longer the period between the date of first contact and the date of the first financial transfer, the higher the amount of money handed over. The financial losses are high and victims can often be in denial, making self-reporting low and repeat victimisation likely.
Dating and social media sites can provide an opportunity for people to meet used e.g. your bank, Western Union, MoneyGram, Equifax and TransUnion.
If you got duped multiple times come on, people , you can submit a claim for each incident. Even those who have since lost the paperwork related to the money transfer are encouraged to file for a refund. The agreement covers nearly any instance of getting bamboozled by someone so long as the money went through Western Union. The FTC says these are just a few possibilities:. Online or internet scams — you did not receive the items you tried to buy online.
Online dating scams to watch out for
All rights reserved. Fraudsters are putting a lot of effort into their romance scam. They aren’t always staying online. Some build that trust with their victim by meeting in person and even going to the extent of moving in with their victim.
“Social media has overtaken online dating sites as the most common all Australians who lost money to a scammer through Western Union.
Rubbin Sarpong, 35, of Millville, New Jersey, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Investigators said Sarpong and his conspirators set up online dating profiles using fake or stolen identities and posed as United States military personnel who were stationed overseas. They allegedly contacted their victims and formed online relationships with them before asking them for money, claiming they needed it to pay for shipping gold bars to the United States.
Between January of and Sept. Sarpong posted photos of himself on social media posing with large amounts of cash, high-end cars and expensive jewelry, according to officials. Skip to content.
How to spot online romance scams
Meeting new people is difficult for many adults. Dating sites like eHarmony and Match. Unfortunately, that same ease of connection makes online dating sites a haven for scammers. Using the information you provide, they can craft a profile designed to win your trust. Many safe and happy relationships begin on dating sites, so this is by no means an indictment of them.
Army CID is warning anyone who is involved in online dating to proceed sextortion and online impostors at the U.S. Army’s Social Media Resources site. fees or marriage processing and medical fees via Western Union.
In addition to Michigan, 49 states and the District of Columbia participated in this settlement. The settlement requires Western Union to develop and put into action a comprehensive anti-fraud program designed to help detect and prevent incidents where consumers who have been the victims of fraud use Western Union to wire money to scam artists.
That anti-fraud program, which Western Union has agreed to evaluate and update as warranted, includes the following elements:. In addition to this settlement with the states, Western Union also settled claims related to fraud-induced transfers with the Federal Trade Commission and U. Department of Justice that was announced on January 19, The Department of Justice is in the process of hiring a claims administrator to manage the refund process.
You can reach the complaint department at It is important to keep a few tips in mind to help consumers avoid falling victim to wire transfer scams:. To help educate consumers on scams often associated with money transfer services, Schuette is calling attention to his Grandparents Scam and Telemarketing Fraud consumer alerts.
“Romance Scam” Alert
Scammers are getting more and more creative when it comes to extorting information and money from residents of Saskatchewan. Gunson went on to say, country-wide, there were victims who reported romance fraud, but the romance scam presented the highest dollar loss in Saskatchewan compared to the high number of reported extortion scams. In some cases the suspect will even attempt to get the victim to commit fraud on their behalf, as a money mule accepting, then transferring money or goods often unknowingly.
Most romance scams begin via social media sites or online dating sites. Be wary when someone you meet on social media wants to quickly move to a private mode of communication email, text.
Attorney for New Jersey Craig Carpenito said. After making initial contact through dating and social media sites with phony identities, the thieves struck up what appeared to be romantic relationships with the victims either through email or on the phone, Carpentio said. They then got the victims to send them money for bogus emergencies — customs fees, taxes or medical expenses, for instance, the U. Money was wired via Western Union or MoneyGram to bank accounts held by Inalegwu and Mathieu in the United States or conspirators overseas or simply mailed checks directly to them, Carpenito said.
Postal Inspection Service and his own office with the investigation. Click here to sign up for Daily Voice’s free daily emails and news alerts. You’ve read our articles so we know you like our reporting. To keep reading please join our mailing list. Return to your home site. Search Nearby. Get the news you need to know on the go.
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