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Maryland suspect charged with felony theft in dating scam

A lot of people do it. They find dates online using various websites; sometimes web daters even find their future spouses online. But sometimes, the online dating game doesn’t work out for the best.

In the case of one internet dater, his online dating game wound up costing him thousands of dollars. The woman he was supposedly chatting with online reportedly wasn’t whom he thought. And now a Maryland man who allegedly helped deceive the 64-year-old faces felony theft charges for his deception.

According to news reports, the supposed theft victim in this case is from Philadelphia and was saved from losing a reported $46,000 due to his local law enforcement’s action. The police heard that the man was trying to withdraw the significant amount of money from his account in order to give it to a woman he’d met online, and they thought the story sounded like a familiar Nigerian online dating scam.

The theft victim believed that he had a relationship going with a woman and that he was providing her with money that she needed while temporarily in Africa for work. Before police ran a sort of sting and caught the man posing to be a courier helping the fake girlfriend, the victim had already sent more than $20,000 to Nigeria.

The courier was arrested and charged with felony theft. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison.


The Times Herald: “Updated: Maryland man arrested for online dating scam trying to swindle Montco man,” Carl Hessler Jr., 24 May 2011

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