Dating scam cheats Boardman woman out of thousands - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Dating scam cheats Boardman woman out of thousands

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BOARDMAN, Ohio -

A Boardman woman is out thousands of dollars after a man from a dating website convinced her to send him money. 

The 53-year-old woman tells police she met someone on the Plenty of Fish dating site in 2016.

They communicated regularly and she said he would occasionally send her money via check. 

The woman said she no longer had the envelope that contained the check, but she remembers the return address being from a Cleveland.

In earlier this month, she says the man asked her to send money to him.

According to the police report, the man told the victim he was in Peru for business.

He asked her to send him money to help him pay his employees and help him get home. 

The woman said she took out cash advances from her credit card and went to cash advance businesses on several occasions to wire the man money to locations like Florida and Nigeria. 

The man told her he would make payments on the card that was used to send him money and later pay off the balance. 

The woman said she did not suspect anything until her credit card company notified her that she had insufficient funds in her account.

By the time she reported the scheme to police, the woman had sent $7,548 in money transfers to the man.

If police ever find the scammer, he would face charges of telecommunications fraud.

This dating scam scenario is actually a common scam run through a variety of online dating sites. 

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, criminals patrol dating sites and attempt to coax money out of their matches.

The scammers will usually claim to be Americans traveling or working abroad, while in reality, they live overseas.

The criminals will match with someone --normally women over 40 who are divorced, widowed or disabled-- and spend weeks or months talking to them. Sometimes they'll send flowers or other gifts.

Then the scammers will start asking for money, which will help them in a "dire situation." The FBI says the money sent will rarely be recovered. 

Some ask the victim to cash checks or forward a package along, inadvertently putting the victim in the middle of a laundering scheme. 

The FBI asks anyone who thinks they've been victimized by a dating scam to file a complaint on their website

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