Ever been a victim of an online dating scam? I have, twice. A neighbor told me to watch the MTV show called Catfish and I would learn all about it. I did and was shocked people could be so cruel. The Urban Dictionary defines it as, “Having a fake Facebook profile, images and avatar in order to lure people to have romantic feelings.” Read the following article from the NextAvenue.org website for more information.
Flood of Romance Scams Defrauds Older Victims
One recent case is a textbook example of a crook posing as a loving boyfriend
by Steve Baker
September 26, 2016
“Behind the headlines about online romance scams victimizing older women and men lie true stories with real victims and perpetrators.
A recent case in point: Olayinka Sunmola, a Nigerian citizen operating out of South Africa who posted fake profiles on a variety of dating sites, including Plenty of Fish, eHarmony and Match, to lure women. When representing himself, he used the real pictures of other people, often masquerading as an officer in the U.S. armed forces. Sunmola claimed he was widowed with a child, and a practicing Christian with a strong faith.
Anatomy of a Scam
After finding victims online, Sunmola, 33, quickly moved them off the dating sites to communicate through Yahoo chat, and attempted to explain his slight accent by claiming he was originally born in Italy or Greece. He spent weeks or months developing relationships with his victims, many of whom lived in Missouri or Illinois. Sunmola often sent them gifts such as flowers or chocolates, and then asked for small sums of money for supposed minor emergencies in order to test the waters with them.
The women were convinced they had found their true love and soul mate. In most cases, Sunmola assured them that they would be married in the near future.”
C. Steven Baker recently retired as director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Midwest Region in Chicago, a position he has held since 1988.