Online Dating Scammers Pose as U.S. Military Personnel
A New Jersey man was busted Wednesday for running an international lonely hearts scam that turned deadly, authorities said. Sarpong is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to the U. Sarpong frequently posted selfies on Instagram with large stacks of cash, expensive designer clothing, jewelry and luxury cars — all of which he allegedly bought with money that women sent him. Federal prosecutors said Sarpong and his cohorts created a variety of fake stories on their dating profiles, but the most common lie claimed they were military personnel stationed in Syria and who received, recovered or been awarded gold bars. They asked their victims for money to ship the nonexistent gold bars to the U. Sarpong, a citizen of Ghana and legal U. His Instagram photos often featured massive piles of cash, bottles of Hennessy, Gucci shirts and high-end cars. None of his co-conspirators have been charged. Skip to content. The Daily News Flash Newsletter.
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In April, Army Criminal Investigation Command put out a warning about romance scams in which online predators go on dating sites claiming to.
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Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. Read about the stories romance scammers make up and learn the 1 tip for avoiding a romance scam. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC.
Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps, or contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Google Hangouts. The scammers strike up a relationship with their targets to build their trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day.
If you thought online dating websites are on the rise, than you would be right. However, not everyone who creates a profile on these sites has honourable intentions. Most dating scams start innocently enough. Scammers contact victims via social media sites or through email, claiming common interests or a distant, mutual connection—such as an introduction at a wedding or other large gathering. Other scam artists make their fake profiles look as appealing as possible and wait from victims to reach out and begin the conversation.
Once a scammer has you hooked, the possibilities are limitless, but here are a few of the most common variations:. Fraudsters may use the name and likeness of actual soldier or create an entirely fake profile. They send out legitimate-seeming emails, introducing themselves as being near the end of their careers, often with older children and typically widowed under tragic circumstances.
The emails are riddled with military jargon, titles and base locations, which sound impressive. In many cases, these scammers work with one or more accomplices who pose as doctors or lawyers to extract a steady stream of money. In many cases, military scams drag on for months or even years before victims finally get suspicious.
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Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. Check out what’s clicking on Foxnews. Rubbin Sarpong, 35, of Millville, was arrested Wednesday and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating apps or social media sites working on an oil rig; in the military; a doctor with an international organization.
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Each week, I get letters by email, on my website, by Twitter and on Facebook from women who are sending money to Africa and Afghanistan to help service members come home. This is a scam!! These are not men who are in the United States military. They are scam artists preying on desperate women.
The British Army protects the United Kingdom’s interests at home and abroad, providing a safe and secure environment in which all British citizens can live and.
Online scammers who use lonely hearts schemes to bilk people out of money sometimes steal the identity of a military member to tug at their victim’s heartstrings. Usually, these scammers develop fake contacts, using easily obtained pictures from real U. The scammers often use internet cafes and reroute money multiple times to untraceable sources, making it difficult to track them or reclaim any money they manage to steal.
What’s especially insidious about this kind of online scam is that many people legitimately want to help a member of the U. The scammers are exploiting people’s good intentions toward our men and women in uniform, and exploit their goodwill. Not only does this kind of fraud hurt the victim, but it damages the reputation of the United States Military member.
New Jersey scammer wooed women by posing as soldier on dating websites, netting $2.1M: feds
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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. In one of the scenarios, the scammers would then ask for money to ship gold bars they had recovered while stationed in Syria back to the United States, authorities said. There were no gold bars and the scammers kept the money, authorities said. The victims, who met the scammers via sites including Plenty of Fish, Ourtime.
What followed was an elaborate story about how she could help get the gold to the U. She was told her money would be returned once the gold arrived. The scammer allegedly put her in touch with a co-conspirator who posed as a diplomat and she was presented with fake documents to back up the story. Most of the money this victim wired was sent to a bank account controlled by Sarpong. Sarpong was born in Ghana, but is a legal permanent U. Investigators noted that Sarpong bragged about his financial success on social media, including posting photo of himself posing with wads of cash, jewelry and fancy cars.
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Learn more. Hundreds of times a day, women here and overseas complain about being scammed by con artists posing as U. Army Criminal Investigation Command. Grey has made it a personal crusade to warn the public about the online scams that are using men in uniform as bait to reel in women who hand over cash in the name of love. Most of the victims are women in the U. The 2,person command Grey serves is in Quantico, Va. Thus it lacks jurisdiction to probe the barrage of incoming calls, since the service personnel are not victimized beyond having their names and photos misappropriated.