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Crime

EPS is highlighting the risks of finding love online

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The victim of an online romance scam is sharing his story in hopes of preventing more people from being taken advantage of by scammers. Online romance scams are a lucrative business- in 2018, the Edmonton Police Service investigated 11 incidents of romance scams totaling an overall reported loss of $1,115,219.74.

Con was in the hospital when he received a message from a woman who said she had seen his dating profile. He was happy to have the company while he was confined to the hospital bed – even if it was just over the phone.

  

       Sample of images sent to portray the woman’s online profile

She said she was a United States citizen on an overseas contract as a computer civil engineer. She was a single mom; her son was nine-years-old. Eventually, she would say that she “fell in love with a guy from the internet”.

Months into their chats, the requests for money began; she said the camera on her phone was broken but she couldn’t afford to fix it, so she needed $600 to replace it. Con denied her request so she stopped contacting him, but months passed and they started talking again. She asked him for money once again, telling him she was relying on him to get her and her son to the States. So he gave what he could towards a new phone- $100. It wasn’t enough, so she stopped talking to him.

Nearly a year later, she asked him if he still loved her; the continued to talk for a couple of weeks and then she told him she was laid off and needed help. He told her to go to the U.S. Embassy for help, but she admitted that it was an illegal work contract. She needed to get home, but she didn’t have enough; she was a mere $1500 short.

The next day, ticket prices went up. He paid the difference. And then her son was diagnosed with malaria. Shortly after, they were in a collision and had hospital bills – she even sent x-rays. But she had money back home; she just needed help paying the hospital bills in order to be released from the hospital. Once she got home she would be able to pay him back. She even “proved” her financial state by sending a picture of her bank accounts in the U.S.A; she just couldn’t access them while overseas.

Sadly, Con’s dream of having a family was used against him by fraudsters. When one of his banks interfered and the Edmonton Police Service investigated his case, this romance scam came to $143,000.

When asked why he sent the money, he pauses… “Hope that it would be real. Having her and her kid. Money isn’t important. This is; having someone else in the house besides me.”

 

Protect Yourself 

It is important to remember that romance scammers do this for a living – it’s their job and it can be very profitable.

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking that these scammers are taking someone’s desire for happiness and using it against them,” Detective Linda Herczeg stated. “They commit all of their time into these scams because it’s their job and it’s lucrative.”

Websites and apps are constantly used for matchmaking, friendship building, and networking, but users should be aware of the potential risks.

Signs that a social media or dating profile user is a scammer

  • They ask you for money.
  • They profile you and tell you everything you want to hear.
  • They will find out what you are looking for in a relationship and create events that will play on your emotional to get you to send money – sick children, airline tickets to come be with you/marry you so you can be a family.
  • They groom you for as long as it takes (days, months, years) to get your money by being very attentive, lavishing you with attention, compliments and tell you that they love you. Usually they profess their love early in the relationship.
  • They are always available because it is usually a group of individuals that are sending you messages, working off a script.
  • The images of your “loved one” will be stolen off the internet.
  • Your “loved one” will rarely have a voice conversation with you or have a live conversation via FaceTime or Skype.
  • Your “loved one” will always have an excuse why they cannot meet you.
  • They will always find a reason for you to send them more money.

 

You can find more information on online scams and online dating safety tips on the EPS website.

The EPS reminds citizens that fraud prevention is continuous – we need to recognize it through continual education, report it, and stop it. We ask that you share this information with those in your life who may be a target for romance scams.

If you are a victim of any fraud, please contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile device.

Crime

Police fire shots this morning while chasing B&E suspects – ASIRT Investigating

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ASIRT investigating officer-involved shooting

January 13, 2020

At approximately 4:10 a.m. this morning, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, two Northeast Division officers came upon a break and enter in progress at a gas station in the area of Range Road 244 and Hwy 37. When members challenged the suspects, contact between the suspect and EPS vehicles occurred, resulting in EPS members discharging their firearms.

A criminal flight ensued, which led the officers to the area of 25005 Sturgeon Road. A second vehicle contact occurred, at which point the officers again discharged their firearms.

One male sustained non-life threatening injuries and was treated and transported to hospital. Three other suspects were taken into custody.

No EPS officers were harmed during this incident.

The EPS will not be providing further comment, as the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) has since taken the lead in this investigation.

 

 

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Crime

Suspect arrested in December 3 homicide

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Downtown Edmonton buildings

Suspect arrested in December 3 homicide

For Immediate Release: 13-Jan-2020 @ 9:39 AM

The Edmonton Police Service Homicide Section has arrested a 31-year-old male in connection with the shooting death of a man in central Edmonton in early December.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, Michael Tyrel Arnold, 31, was arrested without incident at a residence in central Edmonton. Arnold was wanted in relation to the shooting death of 45-year-old Arthur Charles Edward Beauchamp on Dec. 3, 2019.

Arnold is charged with second degree murder and breach of firearms prohibition order (x3).

Police are not looking for additional suspects in relation to this homicide

Background           

On Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 just after 10 a.m., Downtown Division patrol members responded to a 911 call regarding a family dispute at an apartment building near 103 Avenue and 115 Street.

Upon arrival, police and paramedics discovered Beauchamp in medical distress outside the apartment complex.
Paramedics treated and transported him to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

On Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, autopsy results confirmed Beauchamp died from a gun-shot wound, and the manner of death was homicide.

On Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, the EPS issued a request for public assistance in locating Michael Tyrel Arnold, 31 in connection with the homicide.

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