In this type of fraud, scammers will take advantage of people looking for romantic partners on online dating sites. In hopes of ultimately obtaining access to their financial or personal information. The Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI is working to raise awareness about online romance scams, also called confidence fraud. The FBI cautions everyone who may be romantically involved with a person online because romance scams are very prevalent during this time of year. Romance scammers create fake profiles and contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. The scammers then build a relationship with their targets to earn their trust; sometimes chatting more than several times a day.
Scammers use online dating to grow close to victims before using them for money, FBI says
These kinds of scams involve scammers exploiting a victim’s emotions to gain trust and make off with their money. The warning came out on the same day developers for online dating apps said they noticed an increase in users. The day was called “Dating Sunday. So, what is the difference between online romance scams and other kinds of scams? Murugan said potential victims may not recognize the “red flags” that would give away other online scams.
A Monroe woman was sentenced to three years in prison for posing as an FBI agent on a dating website and illegally having a gun.
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FBI warns of government impersonators, romance scams
In a press release Thursday, the DOJ says year-old Riane Leigh Brownlee has also been ordered to serve three years under court supervision once her term is finished. She also falsely told an individual with whom she was on a date that she was conducting a counter-drug operation. She was arrested later the same day, but falsely told the same person she had to keep her identity secret from law enforcement because she was operating undercover.
Per court records, the DOJ also says she was driving a stolen vehicle, and her gun was also stolen as well. Authorities seized her fake badge, gun, vehicle, and a fake FBI ID with her photograph and the Mancini alias printed on it.
In this type of fraud, scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners on dating websites, apps, or social media by obtaining.
Cybercriminals are tricking people into laundering and sending money , purchasing items and providing personal and financial information, the FBI said Monday, by posing as a US citizen in a foreign country, a US military member deployed overseas or a US business owner. Some cybercriminals pretend to be a US citizen living overseas, spending months building relationships via online dating sites and then asking the victim to send gifts and electronics, followed by the money for a plane ticket to visit.
Some situations also see victims convinced to set up a new bank account that is later used to facilitate criminal activities. It recommended dating site users do a reverse image search on anyone they connect with online. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy , which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion.
Don’t show this again. Corinne Reichert. Dating apps are being used to trick people into scams.
Based on the number of victims, this type of fraud was the seventh most commonly reported scam last year. Money-wise, it was the second costliest scam in terms of losses reported by those victims. There are scads of similar stories. An example of the rising trend of recruiting mules from dating sites is that of a woman who met somebody on a dating site who convinced her that he was a civil engineer.
He promised her a job working at his side.
Riane Leigh Brownlee, 39, who identified herself as Agent Alexandria Mancini, posed in a dating profile with a fake FBI badge and a stolen gun.
The FBI is advising consumers to be wary when using online dating sites after the agency saw a 70 percent annual increase in reported romance scams. Cybercriminals are reportedly using online dating sites to trick victims into sending money, providing personal and financial information, or even unknowingly acting as a money mule by relaying stolen funds. Learn these tips for keeping yourself—and your financial accounts—better protected when meeting people online.
Romance scams, also called confidence scams, are when a bad actor deceives a victim into believing they have a trusted relationship and then uses the relationship to persuade the victim to give money, personal and financial information, or items of value to the perpetrator. The initial grooming phase can last for days, weeks, or even months , and by that time, the victim may be extremely vulnerable to the scam.
Techniques of romance scammers are varied and may include:. However, elderly people, women, and those who have lost a spouse are often targeted. Fraudsters have used dating sites to find and target victims for some time, but there is a new twist on romance scams that involves international criminal networks using dating sites to recruit money mules.
The victim is then asked to receive and send money from that account.
Hello, young lovers! FBI warns of online dating scams
Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and FBI officials are warning singles to avoid falling for a scam. Those scammers target people who are on online dating sites, they said. The FBI says bad guys are once again using online dating sites to build trust relationships with victims, then persuade them to send money or share personal and financial information. The FBI described the crime as being grossly underreported. Sarasota County is perceived as prime target, partly because of its wealth and partly because its median age is older than Investigators said victims tend to be older and often widowed or divorced.
The dating and romance scams involve financial fraud and recruiting so-called “money mules,” the FBI said in a public service announcement.
A North Carolina woman with a long criminal history was sentenced to three years in federal prison for impersonating an FBI agent on online dating sites, and on a date. Photos from Brownlee’s dating profile included in court documents as evidence exhibits show the brunette Monroe resident posing in different tops, but always displaying her fake badge, ID card and handgun. Dressed to kill: Riane Brownlee, 39, a con artist from North Carolina, has been sentenced to three years for impersonating an FBI agent on dating websites and posing with a fake badge and a stolen gun.
Brownlee, who is an ex-convict, falsely identified herself as FBI Special Agent Alexandria Mancini and carried around a stolen handgun. An acquaintance later told detectives that Brownlee met men online for sex and then stole their credit card numbers. The day she got arrested in February , she told a date she was working as an undercover agent in a drug case. Brownlee later lied to the man that she had to keep her identity secret from local law enforcement because she was operating undercover.
Brownlee’s prior record includes felony convictions on charges of identity theft, felony worthless checks and possession of stolen motor vehicle. Being a convicted felon, she is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Bronwlee’s month prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release. Argos AO. Share this article Share.
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FBI warns of ‘money mule’ schemes exploiting COVID-19 pandemic
It starts off as a harmless enough request. You receive an email, maybe through an online job site or a dating website. Provide your bank account information and allow money transfers to flow through your account.
A North Carolina woman was sentenced to three years in prison for impersonating an FBI agent on an online dating site, and on a date.
According to court documents, she posted photos of her wearing a fake FBI badge and a firearm. When she went on a date on Feb. Brownlee insisted that she kept her identity from authorities since she was on an undercover operation. In addition to her fake FBI badge, officers also found that Brownlee was driving a stolen vehicle. Prior to receiving her month sentence, she also had multiple prior felony convictions such as identity theft, felony worthless checks and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Brownlee is now in federal custody and is prohibited from owning a firearm or ammunition. Are you ready for retirement? Manage Log In. Keep track and manage your login sessions and devices here. It’s simple! Woman pretending to be FBI agent on dating sites gets three years in prison. Article type: metered. Did you find this article insightful? Related News.
Monroe woman posed as FBI agent on dating sites
In order to avoid falling victim to such a person, the FBI offers several tips. First, people should only use reputable, nationally-recognized dating websites, though it is still possible for scammers to use these as well. Photos and profiles should be researched using other online search tools and people should ask questions. Officials urge people to never provide financial information, loan money or allow a bank account to be used to transfer funds on one of these sites.
People should also be wary of anyone who attempts to isolate them from their family or friends.
CHARLOTTE, N. C. (AP) — A North Carolina woman was sentenced to three years in prison for impersonating an FBI agent on an online dating.
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