Woman pretending to be FBI agent on dating sites gets 3 years in prison
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned Americans to be on the lookout for cyber-based romance scams. The Richmond, Virginia, branch of the FBI said criminals used the most romantic day of the year as an opportunity to con victims out of their hard-earned cash or personal data. For these heartless cyber-villains, websites and apps intended to aid people in their quest to find love are nothing more than prime hunting grounds brimming with easily exploitable victims. To help romance seekers stay safe, the FBI issued seven guidelines to follow when looking for love online. Advice to “only use reputable, nationally-recognized dating websites,” was accompanied with the important message that scammers may be using these sites as well. Users were advised to perform a background check of their potential love match, using online search tools to verify photos and profiles and asking questions. The FBI urged users never to provide their financial information, loan money, or allow their bank accounts to be used for transfers of funds.
FBI Warns Of Scam That Will Break Your Heart And Wallet
In , more than 15, people filed complaints with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) alleging they were victims of confidence/.
In this type of fraud, scammers will take advantage of people looking for romantic partners on online dating sites. In hopes of ultimately obtaining access to their financial or personal information. The Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI is working to raise awareness about online romance scams, also called confidence fraud.
The FBI cautions everyone who may be romantically involved with a person online because romance scams are very prevalent during this time of year. Romance scammers create fake profiles and contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. The scammers then build a relationship with their targets to earn their trust; sometimes chatting more than several times a day.
Then, they make up a story and ask for money.
Top Charlotte news: Woman gets 3 years in jail after posing as FBI agent; council mulls RNC; more
District Judge Kenneth D. Bell also ordered Brownlee to serve three years under court supervision upon completion of her prison term. On February 23, , Brownlee falsely told an individual with whom she met on a date that she was an FBI agent conducting a counter-drug operation. After Brownlee was arrested later the same day, she falsely told the same individual that she had to keep her identity secret from law enforcement because she was operating undercover.
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Dating site users are being tricked into laundering money, FBI says
It starts off as a harmless enough request. You receive an email, maybe through an online job site or a dating website. Provide your bank account information and allow money transfers to flow through your account. You move the money for someone, who pays you a little cash for your trouble or lures you with the potential of a romantic relationship. Acting as a so-called money mule may land you in prison and ruin you financially.
“Well-rehearsed criminals search dating sites, apps, chat rooms, and other social media networking sites attempting to build ‘relationships’ for.
The FBI is advising consumers to be wary when using online dating sites after the agency saw a 70 percent annual increase in reported romance scams. Cybercriminals are reportedly using online dating sites to trick victims into sending money, providing personal and financial information, or even unknowingly acting as a money mule by relaying stolen funds.
Learn these tips for keeping yourself—and your financial accounts—better protected when meeting people online. Romance scams, also called confidence scams, are when a bad actor deceives a victim into believing they have a trusted relationship and then uses the relationship to persuade the victim to give money, personal and financial information, or items of value to the perpetrator. The initial grooming phase can last for days, weeks, or even months , and by that time, the victim may be extremely vulnerable to the scam.
Techniques of romance scammers are varied and may include:. However, elderly people, women, and those who have lost a spouse are often targeted.
Woman who impersonated FBI agent on dating website sentenced to 3 years in prison
A North Carolina woman with a long criminal history was sentenced to three years in federal prison for impersonating an FBI agent on online dating sites, and on a date. Photos from Brownlee’s dating profile included in court documents as evidence exhibits show the brunette Monroe resident posing in different tops, but always displaying her fake badge, ID card and handgun. Dressed to kill: Riane Brownlee, 39, a con artist from North Carolina, has been sentenced to three years for impersonating an FBI agent on dating websites and posing with a fake badge and a stolen gun.
Brownlee, who is an ex-convict, falsely identified herself as FBI Special Agent Alexandria Mancini and carried around a stolen handgun. An acquaintance later told detectives that Brownlee met men online for sex and then stole their credit card numbers.
Go slow and ask questions. · Beware if the individual seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or social media site to go “.
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Scammers recruiting money mules on dating sites is on the rise, says FBI
Ken Duffy KenDuffyNews. More people are turning to online dating for a semblance of companionship during the coronavirus crisis — sites often rife with sophisticated scams targeting Americans from overseas, the FBI warns. Singles might be using online dating sites like Match.
A woman has finally been sentenced to three years and one month in prison for pretending to be a Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI agent on dating sites. The U. According to court documents, she posted photos of her wearing a fake FBI badge and a firearm. When she went on a date on Feb. Brownlee insisted that she kept her identity from authorities since she was on an undercover operation.
In addition to her fake FBI badge, officers also found that Brownlee was driving a stolen vehicle. Prior to receiving her month sentence, she also had multiple prior felony convictions such as identity theft, felony worthless checks and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Brownlee is now in federal custody and is prohibited from owning a firearm or ammunition. Man pretending to be police officer pulls over off-duty cop, arrested.
Scammers use online dating to grow close to victims before using them for money, FBI says
The FBI has issued a warning to West Michigan residents to be wary of government impersonators and romance scams. The release noted that residents should know government agencies will never call or email people threatening them or demanding money. If someone thinks a call from a government entity was a scam, they are asked to report the call immediately to law enforcement and the FBI.
The FBI also warned residents of romance scams, when a scammer creates a fake online identity to gain trust from a victim in a close or romantic relationship and tries to steal from them. Scammers may propose marriage and make plans to meet in person, but that will never happen.
The FBI has issued a warning for Americans to be wary of “confidence/romance scams,” after the Bureau saw a 70% annual rise in reported.
The FBI in Michigan has received numerous reports of increased efforts by scammers to target residents across western Michigan with two different schemes: government impersonators and romance scams. In both fraud schemes, the scammer seeks to take advantage of a relationship of trust. There are many versions of the government impersonation scam, and they all exploit intimidation tactics.
Be advised, law enforcement agencies DO NOT call or email individuals threatening them or demanding that they send money. If you question the legitimacy of a call, hang up immediately and report the call to law enforcement using the published number for that agency and the FBI. The criminals who carry out romance scams are experts at what they do and will seem genuine, caring, and believable. Unfortunately, con artists are present on most dating and social media sites.
Scammers may propose marriage and make plans to meet in person, but that will never happen. Eventually, they will ask for money. Scammers also ask victims to send money to help overcome a financial situation they claim to be experiencing. These are all lies intended to take money from unsuspecting victims. The scammers ask victims to redirect the funds to them or at an associate to whom they purportedly owe money.
In a similar scheme, scammers ask victims to reship packages instead of redirecting funds. In these examples, victims risk losing money and may incur other expenses, such as bank fees and penalties, and in some instances face prosecution.
N.C. woman gets 3 years in prison for posing as FBI agent on dating website
The FBI says there are some on online dating apps that are looking to scam people seeking virtual companionship during the coronavirus pandemic. ATLANTA – The coronavirus has sent more and more people to an online dating app to socialize virtually, but the FBI is warning people sophisticated criminals are looking to prey on unsuspecting victims who fall into an all-to-common and oftentimes expensive trap.
Dating apps have seen dramatic a jump in traffic. People logging on to flirt and cyber chat in the age of coronavirus.
three years in prison for impersonating an FBI agent on an online dating site and on a date. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District.
Scammers often target people looking for romantic partners on dating websites, apps or social media by obtaining access to their financial or personal identifying information. When students come into her office presenting a confidence fraud concern, Adler says her staff looks at each situation on a case-by-case basis. Some things the CARE Violence Prevention and Response Program advocates can help students with includes working with local law enforcement to make police reports, accompanying people to the courthouse if they want to take out charges with the magistrate, or assisting with filing for Protective Orders.
Adler recommends anyone using a social media app to know the signs for identifying a potential romance fraud. Some of the other warning signs include when a person rushes the intensity of the relationship, if they seem too good to be true, if they talk about traveling all over the world or have unusual stories about their experiences. Some additional red flags include when the other person refuses to meet the person, Skype or talk on the phone, if they ask for an address to send flowers or gifts or if they ask for money for any reason.