HATFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) – A week after 3-On-Your-Side warned of online dating scams, a suspect in one such case is under arrest.
A local victim was nearly taken for $46,000 before authorities got involved.
Police say they were notified when the victim tried to withdraw $46,000 from his bank. The victim told police he planned to give the money to a woman he met online.
For the 64-year-old man from Hatfield Township, he was just trying to help someone in need. According to police, that someone was known to the victim as “Mary Douglas”. The two developed a relationship online and the victim was told “Mary” would move to Philadelphia to be with him after she finished her work in Africa.
But first, she told the victim she needed $46,000 to cover some emergency expenses.
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The victim was not home to comment but police say with his cooperation, they set up a sting and arrested Maxwell Gbogboade for attempted theft by deception.
Brian T. Herrick, a supervisory special agent with the FBI in Philadelphia, explained, “You’ll see they want to become fast friends, going from not knowing you at all to professing their love for you.”
As was the case in Hatfield, Herrick says scammers usually use a fake name and stolen pictures. Authorities say you can often search for pictures and anecdotes you receive online to see if they’ve been used elsewhere.
So far, the FBI reports more than 2,000 victims have come forward.
Herrick added, “You can imagine there are hundreds or even thousands of more that haven’t so it’s a significant problem.”
If you would like to file a complaint directly with the FBI, you may do so here: www.ic3.gov
The suspect in this case, Gbogboade, remains in jail unable to post his $750,000 bail.
Reported by Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3