The trend of romance blossoming online has become common in the US, with almost a third of adults using dating websites or apps. It is unfortunate that on top of all the lonely hearts online, there are also romance scammers looking for hard earned money from victims instead of love.
How a New Catfishing Online Dating Scam Happened in New York
Do not be deceived: the intention of this man from Buffalo is not to find love on dating apps. Despite finding it, one impersonator on Tinder has tarnished his reputation. The Andrew Sturz family has two children, and he and his wife live a happy life together. Despite trying to overlook it for five years, this impersonation of Andrew has become increasingly annoying.
Since last year, the mystery man has been creating fake accounts under the name Bobby using pictures of Andrew on dating sites. Several Tinder accounts have been using photos of Andrew, pretending to be him, and he wants to put an end to this.
In a Facebook post, Andrew warned his fans and potential victims in New York City about the cases of this fake Tinder account.
“I keep getting my photos used on Tinder and hinge by this Bobby guy (whose name we think is Dave).” He wrote on Facebook. “You should be careful if you live in the Buffalo area because he’s soliciting girls to send him pictures. I’ve had two New Yorkers contact me about it in the last two months, so make sure you see them before sending anything.”
Despite Andrew’s attempts to contact the mystery man and ask police officers if they can help, no action has been taken. Moreover, Andrew is a federal officer, which means the impersonation could be illegal under the New York Penal Law, section 190.26, which states: To commit or aid in the commission of a felony or serious misdemeanor offense, someone can be charged with criminal impersonation in the first degree.
To remove these photos from the Fake Bobby account, Andrew has tried everything he can think of. “I have contacted Tinder and requested that whoever does the catfishing report the account,” he said. “Tinder still lets him use it. Police officers have been contacted.” Andrew said, “I want this to stop scamming young people and older people. I’m sick of this happening.”
Michelle Curry was the last person to be scammed by Fake Bobby, who threatened her. She has shared disturbing details of her date night nightmare. The scammer wrote in his message, “Unfortunately, you had to go above and beyond to prove your point, so now I must consider retaliation.” “Instead of going to such lengths, you should have just let the matter go.”
Fake Bobby and Curry were supposed to meet over the weekend after talking for about a month through his fake social media profiles. A reverse photo search led my friends to the real Andrew after he ghosted me the day of. Curry said they found a message displayed from 2021 warning Bobby not to use his images on dating sites. This scam does not only affect her. In the US, about 20,000 people are catfished each year, according to a report published in 2023.
The feeling of being catfished on online dating sites is terrible, and you and older adults probably already know it. How about redefining (for some) the kind of person someone is by morphing their face and body into your likeness? That’s sickening. “All I want is for someone to figure it out and take action,” Andrew said.
nline Dating Scams: How to Identify Them
These oldest scams are done by romance scammers who use fake online profiles to lure romance scam victims into these oldest scams through video chat or other updates. Profiles that might not be real can be identified by the following clues:
- The friends and family members on their social media page all come from different foreign countries, and they created the profile recently.
- There is something staged or unusually attractive about the profile photo or other shared images, more like models in a photo shoot.
- Some military romance scams claim to work in the military or on oil rigs, which keeps them far from home.
- Some claim to have a higher education or a different nationality than their language ability, for instance, claiming a US degree but lacking proficiency in English.
New updates show that a fake dating profile can be hard to detect right away. You should do your homework because of this. Look for evidence that the person exists elsewhere on the Internet besides social media before relationships develop. To see if their name has been mentioned on other forums as a possible scammer, you can do a reverse image search of their profile picture.
Romance scam victims who have only ever communicated online with someone, and think they are falling for them, what should they do? If you’ve noticed any of these red flags and romance scam losses, such as money laundering, loss of life savings, or losing gift cards, ignore the butterflies in your stomach for a moment. It is probably a military romance scam, a celebrity romance scam, or a cryptocurrency romance scam.
Warning Signs You Might Be in a Romance Scam
- Usually, they contact you via social media: Phone numbers or text messages connected to phone numbers are never used to communicate with them.
- All day long they talk as if they don’t have anything to do: For some reason, scammers have a lot of time on their hands, so this is indicative that they are scamming you. The main job of these people is to scam others.
- Subtly and directly, they ask for money: In the common romance scams, the case always involves a financial need or a special occasion.
- Things they say don’t add up: They never make sense and never make sense of what they say or what they tell you.
Before going on a first date, know the name of the restaurant and find them on social media platforms. Verify the profile picture of the person to see if they are military personnel or belong to any Facebook group. Older Americans are encouraged to inform the federal court if they find themselves in the wrong place or have lost much money through such dating site scams.
According to figures from the FBI report last year, most military romance scams target older people, women, and the life savings of victims in West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, and the United States at large by using fake military photos to get first dates. Over the years, FBI reports of romance scams show that victims can be asked on the first date to send bail money through bank wire transfers.
You should immediately end all contact if you realize you have been scammed. You may want to report them to the authorities. A complaint can also be filed with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Additionally, inform the website or app where the profile was created. You must contact your financial institution immediately if you suspect you have given your account details to a scammer