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Sociopaths and money

Romance scam: Woman steals $42,000 to send to a man she met online

Loke Pui Ling, a 44-year-old woman from Singapore, was sentenced to 16 months in jail for misappropriating more than $42,000 from her employer. She sent the money to Nigeria, believing that she was helping the man she met online and fell in love with.

And that’s just the beginning of the story.

Loke also agreed to “help” another man she met online by accepting $62,000 into her bank account. The money appeared to be part of $71,000 taken from another woman, so Loke was essentially engaged in money laundering.

Love scam victim who misappropriated over $42k from employer jailed for 16 months, on StraitsTimes.com.

Fox News draws attention to romance scams

Finally, a major U.S. TV news channel is drawing attention to romance scams. Yesterday Fox News told the story of a nurse who thought she found love with a soldier. Actually what she found was a con artist who scammed her out of $50,000.

The soldier was Gabe Fanelli — but he didn’t scam the woman. His photos were stolen by a con artist. Fanelli gets 10-12 messages a week from women who say they’ve been scammed by him. He didn’t do it.

Here’s the scariest part of the story — the FBI says that love scams are among the fastest-growing crimes on the Internet.

Stolen Valor con man Derek Alldred finally found and arrested

Derek Alldred as a fake Navy SEAL

Lovefraud has been following this story for a year. Derek Alldred pretended to be a war hero so he could seduce women and then swindle them out of their money. Alldred scammed nearly 20 women that he met on dating sites. The victims were from from Minnesota, California, Nevada and Texas.

KARE 11 in Minneapolis first exposed Alldred a year ago, tracking down victims across the country.

Charges filed against alleged swindler exposed by KARE11, on KARE11.com.

Another twist on love scams: Notices from the “Bureau of Customs”

Lots of men and women in the Philippines look for foreign romantic partners — and end up getting scammed.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Scammer claims to be from Australia, the United Kingdom or the United States and pursues an online relationship with the target.
  2. Scammer claims to send a package of expensive gifts to the target, like laptops, smartphones or designer bags.
  3. A few days later, target receives an email, supposedly from the Bureau of Customs, informing him or her of taxes and duties that need to be paid. It comes complete with official-looking documents.

5 steps to avoid being taken in a romance scam — beware of fake documentation

A scammer stole this image and used it to start an online romance, then took money from his target.

Fake documentation is easy to create, and romance scammers know it. I recently received the following email from a reader in Denmark whom we’ll call “Grete”:

Unbelievable love scam costs woman $1.1 million in four months

“Grace,” a permanent resident of Singapore, met Lee, a Canadian businessman, through a friend. They kept in contact via Facebook and met multiple times for dinner and drinks. But this was a long con — about six months later, Lee put the squeeze on Grace. He claimed that he was stopped at the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, airport, with US$2 million in cash. He needed her help to prove his innocence.

Then, his accomplice, pretending to be a United Nations employee, told Grace that Malaysian customs wanted US$250,000 in exchange for his release. She came up with the money — and lots more. Nine months later, she reported him to the police. Her money is gone.

Love fraud is nothing new – here’s a case from 1964

Raymon Shaw of British Columbia, Canada, was reported missing in 1964.

On November 25, 1964, Raymon Shaw of Canada called his new wife and told her he’d be home around 7:30 p.m. Instead, he disappeared.

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police of Langley, British Columbia, Shaw may not have been who he claimed to be.

“Investigators discovered Raymon SHAW had also gone by the names John ADAMS and Walter BRIAN,” says Cpl. Holly Largy of the RCMP. “Further, he was very likely a fraudster who married women to swindle them out of their money.”

The RCMP is seeking information on this cold case. More details:

OMG! Nigerian authorities arrest 100 undergraduates for Internet fraud and love scams

Photo from 360nobs.com.

They’re called the “Yahoo Boys.” They’re Nigerian university students who go to class during the day and commit Internet fraud by night and on weekends. Some of them have become filthy rich.

The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recently arrested more than 100 undergraduates for financial fraud including online love fraud — popularly known as “Yahoo Yahoo.” Over the last nine months, the authorities recovered more than US$765,000 — 26 percent more than they recovered in all of last year.

Internet fraud is big business in Nigeria. Fraudsters specialize in different types of crimes, such as online dating, phishing, or ATM fraud.

Donna Andersen talks about relationship abuse in the Press of Atlantic City

All year long, the Press of Atlantic City, my local newspaper, has been running a series of stories about domestic violence. A couple of months ago, I wrote to the reporters — not everyone who is abused suffers physical harm.

In fact, Lovefraud’s research shows that people who sought therapy because of an abusive relationships reported the following types of abuse:

  • Emotional – 98.1%
  • Psychological – 95.7%
  • Financial – 70.1%
  • Sexual – 49.3%
  • Physical – 40.9%
  • Other – 18.4%

I was interviewed for the most recent article in the series, which appeared today. You can read it here:

Patrick Giblin does time for scamming 132 women, gets out of jail and does it again

Patrick M. Giblin

Patrick M. Giblin

Meet the original large-scale dating scammer, Patrick Giblin, 53, formerly of Ventnor, New Jersey, but most recently residing in a Philadelphia prison. Lovefraud first wrote about him in 2007, when he was sentenced for scamming women that he met on telephone dating services.

Patrick Giblin trolls phone dating lines, taking money from 132 women, on Lovefraud.com.

Giblin was paroled in 2013 and went right back to scamming women. Now he’ll spend another five years in prison.

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