Police have issued a warning about dating site scams after an elderly Oregon man was swindled out of $200,000.
The 80-year-old, a member of an online dating site, had met someone who claimed to be a Florida art gallery owner. After gaining the victim's trust over the course of a few months, the scammer convinced the suitor to invest in the import of a 500-ton lion sculpture from China. In return, he was supposed to get a percentage of the profits from its sale. The man even received photos of the sculpture and fake bank statements, police report. Needless to say, after receiving the victim's 200 grand, the scammer disappeared.
The lesson to be learned from the man's misfortune is simple, says Brad Hilliard, spokesman for the U.S. Division of Financial Regulation: "Do not send money if you haven't met in person. Especially if they want you to send money to unknown people or overseas."
Have you ever been victimized by an online scam? Have you ever gotten the best of a scammer?
Photo: Getty Images