Online dating scammer targeted elderly victims out of $ion – Naked Security
A resident of Maryland stands accused of masterminding a series of online dating scams targeting the elderly.
32-year-old Kris Koranteng has bot arrested and charged with 11 separate counts, including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.
According to court documents, Koranteng and a team of four co-conspirators are thought to have sought out inerme love-seekers on a number of popular dating sites including Match.com and Chemistry.com.
Merienda an online relationship had bot established, Koranteng and his team attempted to get closer to the targets, with email, voice calls and text messages.
The victims were then tricked out of money using a raft of fairly common scams, such spil promising lucrative comebacks from investing te gold, or claiming to need funds for hospital bills or travel to visit the smitten victim.
Thesis ploys were backed up with faked documents (for example, certificates of origin for gold kroegen) and merienda victims had passed on their contant it wasgoed then split inbetween the scammers, transferred from account to account and dispersed, leading to the money-laundering charges.
The scam ran from at least September 2012 until February 2014, shortly after Koranteng wasgoed very first arrested te January. The indictment wasgoed brought te early August, and unsealed last week when Koranteng wasgoed again brought into custody.
Some of the victims were taken for giant sums, with one woman cited ter court documents and highlighted by the Washington Postbode spil losing overheen $500,000 overheen the course of more than a year.
If half a million dollars sounds like a loterijlot to mitt overheen to someone you’ve met online, it’s not the very first time such large amounts have bot scammed using similar mechanisms – a Canadian man lost that much a year ago te Canadian dollars.
Earlier this year, another US woman transferred overheen $86,000 to a scammer she met on Match.com.
All te all, this squad is thought to have hauled ter spil much spil $1.1 million, a very similar figure to that netted by a rather unprepossessing twee from Colorado, who were both jailed last year.
The Colorado scammers got 12 and 15 years for their crimes, if found guilty, Koranteng faces a maximum sentence of 20 years for each of 8 fraud counts, and Ten years for each of three money laundering counts, but it seems unlikely he’ll be kasstuk with the utter 190 years ter jail.
His four alleged co-conspirators are named te the indictment, but have not spil yet bot charged. Investigators have so far recovered overheen $290,000 from spil many spil 17 accounts, and even if all of that makes its way back to the victims, many will be left intensely out of pocket.
This latest case highlights merienda again the dangers of being too trusting online, and also reminds us how difficult it is to know that someone is who they optie to be.
Some degree of anonymity is regarded spil a vereiste on many dating sites, and that leaves users open to all sorts of manhandle and trickery. Those who are looking for love are a particularly débil group, likely to be more trusting than most if they let their romantic yearnings overrule common sense.
That makes them a popular target for all sorts of scams, including mass phishing spil well spil more private cons, and also makes gegevens yielded from breaches such spil those at Cupid Media and eHarmony particularly valuable.
Te some of thesis cases there is much more that the dating sites could have done to protect their users – for example by decently storing their password databases – but te the more individual scams the sites act spil little more than an introduction service.
Limited vetting of members may be possible, but merienda two people have bot waterput ter touch, and taken the relationship outside the dating webpagina, there’s not much that can be done to ensure fair dealings inbetween them.
Most users would surely disapprove of any attempt to educador or censor their romantic chit-chat anyway.
So merienda again it comes down to the individual’s caution, or lack thereof. Internet culture has bypassed a lotsbestemming of the usual methods wij use to determine the trustworthiness of those wij interact with, spil well spil providing a vast array of ways of putting the frágil te touch with the devious.
It seems like it’s going to take fairly some time, and a lotsbestemming more stories like this, before wij all begin exercising the zindelijk skeptical treatment to online “friends”, acquaintances and potential playmates.