When you hear about romance and online dating scams, the first thing that usually comes to mind is “Nigeria” as that is where most online dating scams originate. But a growing number of these scams are now being hatched by Americans too. In the scam, they romance you from a distance then ask for money when a sudden “emergency” arises. Victims usually wire them money in the U.S. only to find out later that they had been taken in a scam. One recent such scam took place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Here’s the video report followed by a transcript.
Internet Dating Fraud Scam in Alabama
U.S. Online Dating Scam News Transcript
It was an attempt at love to quickly turned into an internet dating scam. And it happened, right here, in Tuscaloosa.
Captain: “The victim sent money to the person he thought he was having a relationship with and our suspect, who is not the person he thought he was having a relationship with, picked up the money.”
Take a look at this picture. The female suspect is walking into a grocery store near the University of Alabama’s campus to pick up a money order from a man who thought she was someone else.
Captain: “This gentleman was contacted by our suspect and, um, the typical dating relationship scam took place.”
It happens all the time. You think I’m a young blond woman who desperately needs money, so you send it. But then, you later find out, I’m not who I say I am.
Captain: “This is the kind of scam that we’re all the time telling people be careful of.”
And Captain Phil Simpson, with the Tuscaloosa Criminal Investigations Division, says when using an internet dating site. be aware of the obvious red flags.
Captain: “You need to do some background information on that on that person. There are several different web sites that you can go and do background checks on people that you’re in a dating relationship with. Also, be careful with pictures that you’re sent. If these pictures look like they’re professional photography photographs and you know… ask questions… ask questions, but above all do not send money to anyone anywhere that you have not met in person.”
Police say the search continues for their suspect in this dating switcheroo.
Reporting for WVUA a news, I’m Taylor Sanders.