danger of online dating


As discussed in my previous posting, The Widower, Lauth Investigations International, Inc. has handled several cases of scam and fraud in relation to online dating sites. The elaborate lengths these scammers go to get what they want is overwhelming. Lauth Investigations has uncovered several different scams as they have related to our clients. The scariest part of these scams is the commitment and dedication these criminals put into their deception.

The following Lauth Investigations fraud case focuses on a fifty-five year old, successful divorced gentlemen. It is widely believed women are the main targets and victims of online scams; however, Lauth Investigations has found men are just as affected falling victim to these criminals.

Dating Infographic

The Fifty-Five Year Old Divorcé

A year after Bill and his wife of 30 years divorced, Bill was looking to get out into the dating world again. He is an accountant for a large firm so he works most of the time, he hasn’t been on a date in over 30 years, and he doesn’t know where to go to meet anyone. A friend suggests online dating. One night, Bill decides to set up his profile on a dating site just to see what happens. Bill’s nightmare begins.

Within a few weeks of being on the dating site, Bill connects with a beautiful younger woman from Russia, we’ll call her Ava. Ironically, even though they are from completely different cultures, Bill and Ava have a lot in common. Although Ava struggles with English, she communicates enough via phone, texting and emails to make a strong enough connection with Bill. He ends up falling in love with her without meeting her.

money hero

Once Ava knows Bill is hooked, she starts pulling at his heart strings. She tells him how hard it is to live in Russia because jobs do not pay more than a few hundred dollars a month. On top of her low salary, she must take care of her ill mother because her father was killed in a car accident. Now, Bill feels the pull to play the hero.  All a part of the ploy. He wants to swoop in and help Ava to show her how much he loves her.

Ava never had to ask for any money. She plays the role perfectly and Bill starts offering money. When Ava pretends to be embarrassed about taking Bill’s money, he insists she let him help her out. Ava “reluctantly” provides Bill her information so he may Western Union her money. The money starts flowing in the direction of Russia.

After months of Bill sending money to “help” Ava, she claims her mother died. Being the good boyfriend, Bill sends money for the funeral. He offers to bring Ava to the States to live with him and get married. Ava is excited to start a new life with him; however, a new snag occurs when she tries to her obtain her visa. The only way it will be resolved is money, which Bill sends, excited to finally meet Ava in person. He is ready to start their new life. The final payment is sent for Ava to purchase her plane ticket. Once sent, Bill never hears from Ava again.

investigator cartoonLauth Investigations International, Inc. is hired when Bill worries Ava was harmed trying to leave the country. He has not yet realized he is a victim of a scam. After much investigation, Lauth proved to Bill that Ava was not the woman’s real identity. The information she provided him led to no one. Research into finding the individual(s) who picked up the Western Union payments revealed nothing. These scammers utilize this payment method because the payments cannot trace who picked them up and they can be picked up anywhere in the world.
After Bill gave away $75,000 and his heart, he now is picking up the pieces and moving on to better things. He was a victim of an elite fraud. He lost a lot of money and his dignity. Bill is not the only one in this position. This fraud is consistently pulling men and women in making the scammers extremely wealthy. Do not let yourself or a loved one be fooled into this fraud. Always err on the side of caution and spend a little money up front to have a potential partner researched by a private investigator. Being too careful never hurt anyone!