New Jersey man scammed $2M from women by posing as a soldier on dating sites, prosecutors say
After years of bad luck with dating, she, like millions of people across the globe, started using online dating sites to meet new people. A few years ago, she received what appeared to be a promising email on the dating site Match. The man told her that he was a U. Air Force pilot deployed to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. He said he was a widower with an adorable daughter — the type of man and family that she’d been looking for, and most of all, he seemed very interested in Schuster. The relationship quickly intensified, and Schuster fell hard, emailing multiple times each day.
New Jersey man charged in $2 million online dating scam
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This story was produced by the American Homefront Project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans.
The digital era has helped fuel a surge in mobile and online dating among younger, tech-savvy generations. In fact, almost half of Americans today between the ages of 18 and 29 years old report having used a dating site or app to find a partner. For the millions of people around the world diving into the world of digital dating, there are dozens of online dating platforms to choose from.
Increasingly though, many of these brands are controlled by a single company. Forget traditional face-to-face interactions—online dating has emerged as the most popular way couples are meeting today. Though the volume of users is increasingly large, the number of companies in the space continues to narrow. The largest in this space, Match Group, has gone all-in on online dating, acquiring some 20 companies throughout its brief history. As a result, Match Group now has an impressive 45 dating services in its growing roster.
Avoiding Scams – Send Money / Bitcoin
They move fast. This may not go for everyone, but typical military life usually means being away for months at a time. Because of this unique schedule, members of the armed forces tend to move on different romantic timelines than the average Joe.
In , while I was single and living in Washington, D.C., I tried a few popular dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid, and Bumble. But I deleted them.
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What You Need to Know About Romance Scams
Federal investigators referenced this Instagram post in which Rubbin Sarpong, 35, of Millville, posed with a stack of cash held up to his ear like a cellphone. Authorities allege he duped people out of cash in an online romance scam. Rubbin Sarpong, 35, of Millville, is charged with a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and will have a first court appearance on Wednesday afternoon, the U. Sarpong and his co-conspirators, several of whom live in Ghana, ran the scheme starting in January until this week.
They set up phony profiles on various online dating sites posing as U.
Attorney Craig Carpenito. The following details from this case were taken from court documents and statements:. The most common story used by Sarpong and his conspirators was that they were military personnel stationed in Syria who were awarded gold bars. The conspirators told many of the victims their money would be reimbursed once the gold bars arrived in the United States. In one case, a conspirator claimed he was a U. He sent her a fictitious airway bill showing that two trunks with “family treasure” would be sent to her, along with a fake United Nations Identity Card that identified him as an Israeli citizen and UN delivery agent.
The next day she died by suicide.
Online Dating – Personals
Scammers have caught on. The US Army Criminal Investigation Command has issued a warning to anyone dating a military service-person online claiming to be deployed overseas to be cautious. They have even organized task forces to deal with the rise in online dating scams in which a scammer will create a fake dating site or dating app profile using photos from military personnel deployed overseas. In fact, hundreds of allegations pour in every month.
The scammer will claim to be deployed overseas and lure the mark into a romantic entanglement. Some of these scams even go so far as to plan weddings.
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. Sarpong posted photographs of himself on social media posing with large amounts of cash, high-end cars and expensive jewelry. Shows Good Morning America. World News Tonight. This Week.
5 charts reveal what you should (and shouldn’t) post on your dating apps
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Embassy Kabul frequently receives inquiries from people who have been victimized by Internet scammers. These scams are attempts by con artists to convince you to send them money by developing a friendship, romance or business partnership online, and then exploiting that relationship to ask for money. The most common scam we see involves calls, texts, or social media messages Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, Kik, dating apps, etc from a person claiming be a U.
Armed Forces, a military contractor, a U. Embassy diplomat, or an employee of an international aid organization. These con artists are very convincing and troll the Internet for potential victims, spending weeks or months to build a relationship. Scammers can be very clever and deceptive, creating sad and believable stories that will make you want to send them money. After the person receives the money, they disappear and do not respond to messages. The U. Embassy strongly cautions against sending money to persons whom you have not met personally prior to their purported travel to Afghanistan.
For actual emergencies involving a U. Embassy American Citizen Services section for assistance. Footer Disclaimer This is the official website of the U. Embassy in Afghanistan.