W5 dating scams
So Ellen — who agreed to speak to the Star only on condition of anonymity — says she signed up to Match. The man she says she met online called himself Dave Field. His picture was that of a somewhat handsome, balding middle-aged man. His accent was a bit off, she thought, but still.
Ellen says she was intrigued.
But when she booked her ticket, she says, things changed. She cancelled the reservation. A few weeks later, she tried again. Again, he dodged her. Why are we playing games? Ellen found another way: Even Ellen is at a loss to explain how an adult, who says she had accumulated a tidy nest egg by growing an inheritance through canny property purchases, could be taken in by the fraudsters.
Scott Haltzman, a Florida-based psychiatrist, says that simply being online and looking for love can leave people more vulnerable because they have gone public with their desire to make a connection. This permits people to ignore potential pitfalls, particularly when the person who is scamming them continues to reassure them that there is nothing to worry about.
Ellen says her fog lifted when a male relative told her point-blank that she was being conned. Authorities there are unable to confirm what happened to that complaint. Asked for comment on the issue of romance scams, Match. There are other red flags: While the money ultimately ends up in West Africa, it can be routed through North America.
Because asking someone to send funds directly to Nigeria could set off alarm bells, one gang asked its victims to instead send cash to their contacts in the U. In Colorado, two women were recently jailed for their role in a romance scam. I tell them if they have a gut feeling about something, they should trust that because gut feelings are usually right. Copyright owned or licensed by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited.
W5 investigates scams that prey on those seeking online romance
To order copies of Toronto Star articles, please go to: Once trust is established, they ask their unsuspecting victims for money. They never meet in person. Ellen, not her real name, agreed to share her story with W5 only if we concealed her identity. She has the unfortunate distinction of reporting to the Anti-Fraud Centre the largest amount of money lost to a romance scam in Canada.
Ellen told W5 that she met a man named Dave Field online through Match. What followed was an elaborate scheme that saw her send fraudsters more than one million dollars. But at the outset she was taken by his friendship. And then, he needed money.
He was expecting a large inheritance but needed help and Ellen, believing she would eventually be repaid, began sending it. At first the amounts were small. But money transfer documents provided to W5, eventually showed hundreds of thousands of dollars being sent to Singapore, England, Spain and, eventually, Nigeria.
She believes that she may have been brainwashed. Polowek is researching romance fraud and the schemes used by the perpetrators. She has found that there are many misconceptions and stereotypes about who romance fraud victims and warns that anyone can fall victim to these schemes, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
Rosanna Leeman speaks to W5 about falling victim to a dating scam involving someone claiming to be a man named Marc Campbell. The fraudster created an elaborate plan to convince Rosanna Lawson to send money, which culminated in a story involving Marc Campbell losing his wallet, ID, and credit cards while on a business trip in Dubai. Have a hot tip?
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