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.The bad guys in these groups pretend to be singles looking for love, with the real intent of securing personal data, or getting victims to send cash.Most dating fraud activity targeting Americans can be traced outside the U. to countries including Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast, according to fraud protection company iovation, which works with many online dating companies.Most of us have been conditioned in how to spot a robot or catfish online, however, there are many other types of scams being performed on a daily basis that users should be aware of and ready to report in the event that they do come in contact with these scammers.While scams are a somewhat unavoidable part of most online services, there are many ways that online daters can stay safe and continue their search for romance on the web without worrying about their security.Online dating has quickly moved from desktop to mobile platforms.
Online dating websites and apps are prone to a sizable rush this time of year with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, giving scammers more opportunity to find unsuspecting victims.
By the time that someone in her life contacted the authorities, the woman had wired an additional 0,000 as a second loan to help the fake oil rig business.
Fortunately, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office was able to move quickly and freeze the 0,000 transaction with the help of Turkish banking officials.
In addition, Turkish authorities were able to arrest an associate of the Nigerian scammer at the bank in question.
The Skype and email accounts used by “David Holmes” were traced back to a location in Nigeria.