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  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , John Martin Hill, romance scam,   

    Serial Romance Scammer Brought Down! 

    Serial Romance Scammer Brought Down!

    We’ve talked about romance scams before. Usually, these scams are perpetrated online by overseas scammers who con people into thinking they’re in a long distance relationship before trying to squeeze money out of their victims. However, in some cases, the romance scam can take place in the real world too. Today, we bring you the story of a man accused of committing real-world romance scams in several states for years before finally being apprehended.

    Police in Franklin, Tennessee recently arrested 35-year-old John Martin Hill. Hill was wanted out of Gwinnett County, Georgia for allegedly defrauding a woman out of $80,000 in a romance scam and using the money to buy a BMW. Hill met his latest victim on a dating site where he claimed to be a millionaire. He proposed quickly to the woman and then got the money from her claiming it was for furniture for the new house they were supposed to be moving into. Hill then reportedly took the money and ran. After he was arrested in Tennessee and extradited back to Georgia a judge ordered Hill be held with no bond. That’s probably because Hill had escaped prosecution in several other states where he is said to have committed similar crimes. Hill had his name legally changed five times while avoiding charges in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey. There was even a Facebook group dedicated to putting a stop to his actions.

    While this is an extreme case of the romance scam this story serves as a warning for people who might be vulnerable to being taken in by a scammer like Hill. This story also shows what lengths romance scammers may go to in order to cover their own tracks. So if something seems not quite right in the relationship you may have every right to be suspicious. If you feel like you’ve been the victim of a romance scam don’t hesitate to contact your local police.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church, dmv, , romance scam,   

    Even your church can be scammed! 

    Even your church can be scammed!

    Once again, we’re here to bring you the latest in scams that you should look out for.

    This week, we start off with a scam that has affected a number of churches in America. The latest area to be hit with this scam is Fargo, North Dakota where parishioners have been receiving messages claiming to be their local priest. The messages sent through an app designed to inform churchgoers of church news has been hijacked and is asking for donations to be made through gift cards. Any kind of transaction asked to be made through gift cards are usually a scam as the gift cards can be virtually untraceable.

    Our next scam is another romance scam that cast a very wide net. According to the Des Moines Register, someone took out a print ad with their paper claiming to be a 57-year-old man looking for someone to marry. However, the same as has appeared in several other newspapers across the country. As with most romance scams, this ad was more than likely placed with the hope of trying to con money out of a vulnerable victim. The Register pulled the ad after they investigated the source of the ad.

    Lastly, in North Carolina, the State Attorney General is warning people there not to fall for phony DMV sites. He says that there are websites popping up that mimic the DMV’s official website. These sites could either be offering services for a fee that the DMV does for free or they could be trying to steal your personal information. You should always use your state’s official DMV website which usually has a ‘.gov’ address.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: romance scam,   

    How do you stop a romance scam? 

    How do you stop a romance scam?

    We’ve talked about a lot of scams over the past few years, however, one that we barely touched on is the romance scam. The romance scam is exactly what it sounds like. A scammer will pose as a variety of people claiming to be looking for a relationship. They’ll pose as men and women on dating sites as well as social media. The scammers will use any and all information that you’ve shared on your profiles in order to lull you into a false sense of security before hitting you with a request for money. We’re not talking small amounts either. Some victims have lost anywhere from thousands to over a million dollars. It’s unknown how many victims of this scam there truly are since many of them are too embarrassed to come forward.

    One family from the Midwest is said to be currently living this nightmare as a member of their family reportedly does not believe it’s a scam and continues to send money to someone claiming to be a woman from overseas. Even after being confronted by his family the man refused to stop communicating with the woman and is said to have sent $34,000 to the supposed woman. Unfortunately, the family is helpless to do anything since the man won’t go to the authorities himself.

    So what happens when a victim runs out of money? They can become unwitting pawns in a money laundering scheme. The scammer will then claim to be paying them back and send the victims phony checks. This is when the old phony check scam kicks in. The victim will be asked to cash the phony check and send a portion of it to a third party. The FBI has the following tips on how to avoid being a victim.

    • Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the material has been used elsewhere.
    • Go slow and ask lots of questions.
    • Beware if the individual seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or Facebook to go “offline.”
    • Beware if the individual attempts to isolate you from friends and family or requests inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used to extort you.
    • Beware if the individual promises to meet in person but then always comes up with an excuse why he or she can’t.
    • If you haven’t met the person after a few months, for whatever reason, you have good reason to be suspicious.
      Never send money to anyone you don’t know personally. “If you don’t know them, don’t send money,”

    If you’ve been the victim of a romance scam you can contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at their website.

     
  • Geebo 9:11 am on April 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , romance scam   

    Fake Facebook profiles a problem for the military 

    Fake Facebook profiles a problem for the military

    One of the other issues discussed with Mark Zuckerberg by Congress was not just that of privacy, but that of identity theft. US Representative Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, mentioned to Zuckerberg that the Congressman had his own information stolen by scammers who had created fake profiles in order to extort money from victims. According to CBS Marketwatch, this is not a new problem on Facebook and often targets members of the military to steal their identity.

    Members of the military often have their profiles copied to make fake Facebook profiles by overseas scammers. The scammers then use the fake profiles to try to get someone romantically interested in the fake profile. This is hen usually followed up by some request for money from the victim. These scams have claimed anywhere from hundreds to millions of dollars from victims, and it’s believed the crime is underreported due to the number of victims who are too embarrassed to come forward.

    Facebook is usually not a big help when it comes to these fake profiles. When the military reports these profiles, Facebook will have them removed, but then they’ll just pop right back up soon after. As in the video shown above, the serviceman whose profile was copied again and again couldn’t get the fakes removed due to Facebook claiming that the fake profiles did not violate their ever-vague ‘community guidelines’.

    Now you may be savvy enough to not fall for such a scam, but think of all your friends on Facebook who may not be. If they’re suddenly head over heels for someone in the military they’ve met online, warn them that this may be a scam, especially if they ask for money. As a military spokesperson put it to CBS…

    Members of the military shouldn’t be asking for money, said Heusdens. “If they say they need help paying for a medical bill, the military pays for medical treatment for soldiers,” she said. Likewise, asking for help to buy food is a red flag.

    “We get fed very well,” she said.

     
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