It often started with a hope for love, then quickly turned into a promise of gold. In one tragic case, it ended in death. A woman had struck up a romance on a dating website with a man who said he was a United States soldier stationed overseas. But he never showed up. The next day, she killed herself. The scheme, officials said, was run by two people in New Jersey and their associates in Ghana. While internet frauds have persisted for years, the breadth of the swindle stands out, as well as the fact that it led to arrests. On Wednesday, the F. A lawyer for Mr.
An American in Ghana: Advice about internet dating – Accra Forum
The Bureau of Consular Affairs also has additional information on Internet Dating and Romance Scams. If you suspect you may be the victim of a scam, please.
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He allegedly pretended to be a U. Sarpong was arrested Wednesday and is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the U. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey announced.
The popularity of online dating services has made it easier for criminals to target victims, so we urge everyone to be cautious this Valentine’s.”.
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According to the indictment, which was unsealed yesterday, individuals committing fraud created several profiles on online dating sites. They then contacted men and women throughout the United States and elsewhere, with whom they cultivated a sense of affection, and often, romance. After establishing relationships, perpetrators of the romance scams allegedly requested money, typically for investment or need-based reasons, and provided account information and directions for where money should be sent.
You may think you spend a lot on flowers or chocolate, but losing money in a romance scam would cost you even more. What do we mean by romance scams? Usually they want the money by wire transfer or gift card. They might claim they need it for a medical emergency or to come visit you. Romance scammers are hard at work wooing people on dating apps and social media. They may lift photos to create an attractive profile or even steal the identity of a real person.
For more information, read Online Dating Scams or watch this video:. Just playing Words with Friends, this guy starts a conversation. I was suspicious right away. After a bit he says he is a widower with 3 kids. He messed up big.
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Often times, this can be a problem which results in finding it hard to date socially. But in the world of technology, people are finding ways to connect online especially through social media. So I set off on a design challenge to try and design a dating app specifically for Ghana. The first thing I needed was a bit of data about what dating in Ghana in was like.
I designed a survey and sent it through various social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. From the little data I got, I could see there was an opportunity to design something that people might be interested in. Some had dabbled in Tinder and Bumble but not many had actually found good enough matches.
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Some questions are posted to this forum, and you can scan through the issues to see the ones I refer to, while others have emailed me directly for my advice or thoughts, as I am an American living in Ghana and married for 17 years to a Ghanaian. In the vast majority of cases, all of these poor innocents were being scammed or conned by the Ghanaian friend, whether male or female, it mattered little.
Anyway, I am sure you are seeing a pattern here. It is gimme, gimme, gimme. There are several websites that now have information about cyber-dating scams, and I am listing them below. If the issue is an unpaid doctor or hospital bill, tell them you will send money only to the hospital. Go to Ghanaweb. Tread cautiously.
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.
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Earlier this year, 10 people located around the United States were arrested and charged in an organized money laundering scheme as they were attempting to wash the cash that they illegally obtained. What was strange about the scheme is how the money was obtained in the first place. It wasn’t through the trading or trafficking of illegal goods or drugs, but rather cash that was sent by unsuspecting women who thought they were building relationships with the scammers.
Authorities say the year-old New Jersey man worked with conspirators in Ghana to deceive the victims.
Correspondents may cultivate the relationship for several months before asking for money, but if they are after your money, eventually they will ask for it. Before you send any money to Ghana, please take the time to do your research and inform yourself. Start by considering the fact that scams are common enough to warrant this warning. Next, look over this partial list of indicators. If any of them sound familiar, you are likely the victim of an internet scam.
We advise U.