The Better Business Bureau is urging consumers to be cautious when seeking love matches online after two local women report wiring thousands of dollars to an alleged Sacramento computer store owner.
The women, both older adults, met the man through online dating websites. Both women report receiving emails filled with promises of love, sweet talk and sharing of personal information. After a period of time, the man told both women he had run into some money problems.
“He shared with me that he was working with the Department of Homeland Security and the IRS to obtain permits to receive international shipments of computers worth $1.5 million,” said one woman. “He discovered he needed to pay $32,000 in tariffs. He was short $10,000.”
Both women wired the man thousands of dollars. After, he requested even more money be wired. When one woman refused to wire more money, communication ceased.
“I would love to see my money returned,” said one of the women. “But I do not anticipate it. He makes elderly women victims with his sweet talk, poetry and professing love.”
Better Business Bureau was unable to locate any business registration or physical location for the business the man allegedly owned. Mail sent to the listed address online was returned and phone messages were not answered.
Better Business Bureau warns online daters to act with caution using the following tips:
Never wire money to someone you have only met online.
Be wary of anyone claiming immediate love, refusing to meet in person or making excuses to avoid phone conversations.
Use caution with those who wish to leave the dating site immediately to communicate using personal email accounts.
Take the time to research individuals using search engines. If any red flags are raised in your communication with someone, search their name. Copy and paste portions of their emails into search engines to see if these emails are reported as scams. Use an image search to ensure any pictures used by the online dater are really his or her pictures.
Further information on identifying and avoiding these scams can be found in BBB’s press release.