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Sociopaths and money

Romance Scams Part 4: Fake dating apps and malware

Photo by Pat138241

Photo by Pat138241

Here’s yet another take on the dangers of online dating: The website Information Security Buzz reports that a number of fake dating apps have been created specifically to record your private data. And some dating sites have spread malware and malicious content.

So if you’re involved with online dating, not only do you need to worry about suitors using fake profiles to steal your heart and your money, but you also need to worry about your computer being infected with a nasty virus.

The risks associated with online dating just don’t quit.

The ins and outs of online love scams, on InformationSecurityBuzz.com.

Romance Scams Part 3: Malaysia busts four love scam syndicates and arrest 27 perps

Police from Malaysia and Singapore arrested 27 Internet love scammers in a joint operation on February 6-8. The criminals — including 11 Nigerians and 14 women — were members of four different crime syndicates.

These thieves of hearts and money cheated 108 people in neighboring countries out of $4.9 million.

All the syndicates were masterminded by Nigerians who entered Malaysia on student visas, according to David Chew, director of the Singapore police Commercial Affairs Department.

Romance scams cost Australians more money than any other form of cheating, said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The most likely victims are aged 45 and older.

Saint Valentine’s Day massacre: Australia, Malaysia, Singapore on love scam alert, on SCMP.com.

Malaysia-Singapore Internet love scam syndicates crippled, 27 arrested, on TheStar.com.my.


Romance Scams Part 2: U.S. victims lost more than $230 million online in 2016

Almost 15,000 complaints of romance scams or confidence fraud were reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center in 2016. Victims of these crimes lost more than $230 million.

In Texas alone, victims lost more than $16 million in romance scams.

Who is running these scams? In many cases, says FBI Special Agent Christine Beining, the perpetrators are organized crime gangs. Why? It’s an easy and lucrative crime. Criminals can often remain anonymous and beyond the reach of authorities. That’s why it’s on the rise.

Romance Scams – Online impostors break hearts and bank accounts, on FBI.gov.

Convicted con artist Patrick Giblin again pleads guilty to scamming women

Patrick M. Giblin

Patrick M. Giblin

Patrick Giblin, 52, formerly of Ventnor, New Jersey, yesterday pleaded guilty to scamming more than 10 women out of $15,000 to $40,000.

Giblin did this between January 2013 and December 2014 — while on parole for previously scamming 132 women out of $320,241. Here’s Lovefraud’s original coverage of the story:

Patrick Giblin trolls phone dating lines, taking money from 132 women, on Lovefraud.com.

According to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, Giblin’s most recent adventures in phone scamming went like this:

From January 2013 to Dec. 16, 2014, Giblin allegedly posted advertisements and messages on telephone dating services throughout the United States. Giblin cultivated a telephone rapport with the women he spoke to on these services, falsely claimed that he would be relocating or travelling to the woman’s geographic area, and falsely represented that he wished to pursue a committed, romantic relationship with each woman.

7 Warning signs of a romance scam

boomers seniors onlineValentine’s Day is approaching. It’s a big day for romance — and romance scammers.

What are warning signs that a potential partner that you met online is, in reality, a con artist? A British financial company called Keeping It Simple compiled a list that includes:

  1. Can’t meet or chat on the phone
  2. Inconsistencies in their story
  3. Repetition — they can’t remember what they told to whom
  4. Wanting to chat via text/Whatsapp
  5. Sending emails to you with attachments — to give your computer a virus
  6. Asking you a lot of questions, but not answering any of yours
  7. Their picture is too perfect — movie star material

For more detail, see the Keeping It Simple report:

The Big Business of Online Dating Scams, on Kisbridgingloans.co.uk.

Woman fakes blindness for 15 years, collects nearly $400,000 in veteran’s benefits

Blind_Woman 2_200x247Back in 2001, Veronica Dale Hahn, 60, of Bonifay, Florida, told the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs that she was 100 percent blind in both eyes due to her military service. The VA believed her, and started paying her veteran’s disability benefits. In 15 years, she collected $394,800.85.

In the meantime, she obtained driver’s licenses in New Mexico, Alabama and Florida, with no vision restrictions. She drove her vehicle and worked full-time as a case manager at state correctional facilities.

Hahn pleaded guilty last week. When she is sentenced, she faces 10 years in prison.

Holmes County woman pleads guilty to fraudulently receiving veterans disability benefits, on Justice.gov.

One easy way to know if the soldier you met online is a scammer

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Valentine’s Day is coming, and the U.S. Army expects a surge in scam reports.

Thousands of lonely women, looking for love online, meet members of the U.S. military. The men are handsome and rugged, they’re serving in harm’s way, and they’re also lonely. The men chat the women up, the women fall in love. The men want to pursue the relationship, but, they say, they need financial help to do it. Can the women send money?

Don’t do it! It’s a scam!

The U. S. Army Criminal Investigation Command says this:  DO NOT SEND MONEY TO PEOPLE YOU MEET ON THE INTERNET WHO CLAIM TO BE U.S. MILITARY.

An authentic U.S. service member NEVER needs financial assistance for transportation, communication fees, medical costs or marriage processing fees. If someone is asking for money, it’s likely he is a scammer from West Africa.

Derek Alldred scams eight women of hundreds of thousands of dollars and skips sentencing hearing

Derek Alldred as a fake Navy SEAL

Derek Alldred as a fake Navy SEAL

Derek Alldred, a con artist who claimed to be everything from a doctor to a Navy SEAL to an investment banker for the Royal Bank of Scotland, has scammed at least eight women out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

His most recent victim,  a woman from Arizona, met Alldred on a dating site. Alldred stole her jewelry and pawned it, then pleaded no contest to the crime.

Alldred pleaded no contest to theft charges and was supposed to be sentenced on December 13 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He never showed up for the hearing, and his victims fear that Alldred will just find more targets.

Watch the video:

Swindler exposed by KARE 11 is on the run, on KARE11.com.

Here’s a detailed, mind-blowing story of Alldred’s scams:

His St. Paul hotel swindle reveals long history of deception, on TwinCities.com.

Thailand: Cops bust possible $1.4 million Nigerian love scam racket

Thai Romance Scam

Thai police diagrammed how the romance scam they busted worked. (Jakraphan Nathanri, Bangkok Post)

I’m beginning to wonder if the biggest industry in Nigeria — and their biggest export — is romance fraud.

Authorities in Thailand arrested two Nigerian men, along with their Thai wives, for allegedly swindling a Thai woman who owned a rubber plantation out of 500,000 bhat (US$14,038).

When the suspects were arrested, police found a list of victims and bank passbooks that revealed more than 50 million bhat (US$1,403,804) had been transferred to their accounts. This is in a country where the average salary is US$385 per month.

I love the police diagram of the scam in the photo. I wish police all around the world took romance fraud this seriously.

Nigerian love scam busted, on Bankokpost.com.

 

Con man lies about Iraq injuries to get government benefits and a free house

In this video, Brandon Blackstone gives his heartfelt testimonial about his devastating injuries in Iraq, and how a charitable organization helped him recover. Problem is, he’s lying.

Brandon Blackstone, 35, of Arlington, Texas, pleaded guilty of lying about injuries sustained in Iraq so that he could bilk the government and charities out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Blackstone did serve as a Marine in Iraq, but he was not injured in a humvee that hit an improvised explosive device, as he claimed.

Blackstone co-opted the story of Casey Owens, who suffered terrible injuries in an explosion, including losing his legs. Owens eventually committed suicide because of his ordeal.

Blackstone, in the meantime, enrolled in a program to help soldiers deal with the “invisible wounds of war,” like PTSD. Blackstone was such a success that the foundation videotaped his testimonial and posted it on its website.