Man gets $1,700 from Greeley woman in online dating scam

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PlentyOfFish.com, the online dating site utilized in this scam, claims to facilitate "over 1 million conversations each day."

PlentyOfFish.com, the online dating site utilized in this scam, claims to facilitate "over 1 million conversations each day."

GREELEY, Colo. — A District Attorney has issued a warning to local residents about an online dating scam after a man posing as a member of the military conned a woman into giving him $1,700.

A Greeley woman was using the primarily free dating website PlentyOfFish.com, or simply POF.com, when she was contacted by a man posing as a “Special Operations” member of the military, according to Weld County district attorney Ken Buck.

The man provided the woman with a single photo from a Facebook profile containing only that photo in addition to a single “friend.” The man told the woman the two could not communicate via telephone because of his “sensitive military position,” according to the DA’s office.

The communication between the two eventually progressed to a point where the man told the woman he wanted to make her the beneficiary on his will, and asked for her date of birth, Social Security number and driver’s license number, among other personal information.

Once that information had been received, the man sent the woman flowers and candy to her home address, then said he needed money for “special training.” The woman wired $1,700 via Western Union to another woman, who the man said was part of his “secret operation,” according to the DA’s office.

When the man continued to ask for additional funds, the Greeley woman became suspicious and contacted authorities. The investigative unit of the Weld County district attorney’s office is currently pursuing the case.

“This particular scam takes advantage of new technology, but uses well-known tactics,” Buck said. “The scammer establishes a relationship, creates a sense of urgency and asks for help. An online love interest who asks for money is almost always a con artist.”

The dating website utilized in this case, POF.com, claims to facilitate “over 1 million conversations each day” amongst more than 300,000 members, with as many as “30,000 new members joining per day.”

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