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Crime

EPS is highlighting the risks of finding love online

Published

6 minute read

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.

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Crime

Leduc RCMP investigate shooting in Southfork area

Published on

uly 30, 2020

Leduc RCMP investigate shooting

 

Leduc, Alta. – On July 29, 2020 at approximately 5:00 p.m., Leduc RCMP responded to a report of a shooting at a residence in the Southfork area.

A 37-year-old male sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported by STARS to the hospital.

Preliminary investigation has revealed that a black Hummer was seen leaving the area of the shooting. Leduc RCMP with the assistance from RCMP Air Services searched for the suspect vehicle which was located a short time later engulfed in flames, south of Leduc.

Leduc RCMP would like to advise this incident is not linked to a separate incident reported on July 17, 2020 in the Westhaven area which remains under investigation.

Leduc RCMP General Investigation Section continues to investigate this shooting.

Police are asking anyone who has information about this incident to contact Leduc RCMP AT 780-980-7267. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.comor by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

Read more on Todayville.com.

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Crime

Innisfail and Sundre RCMP detachments kept busy by rowdy party goers

Published on

July 28, 2020

Innisfail and Sundre RCMP detachments kept busy by rowdy party goers

Red Deer County, Alta –  Innisfail and Sundre RCMP detachments were kept busy on the weekend responding to multiple complaints in the Garrington Bridge area in Red Deer County.  This area is a rural location that is West of Bowden Alberta on highway 587 near range road 43.  In total on July 25th 2020 RCMP responded to 11 calls for service between the hours of 7 pm – 7 am the following day.

The calls for service ranged from damaged property, driving complaints, liquor offences, stolen property, uttering threats, and one report of possession of a weapon dangerous to public peace.  While RCMP were responding to complaints and attempting to keep the peace, a Sundre RCMP vehicle had its window smashed out by an unknown individual. Fish and Wildlife attended as well to investigate a deer that was found deceased near the location of the party.

Residents in the area expressed frustration to RCMP as they were kept awake by the noise of people partying and setting off fireworks all night long.  One resident reports that the following day there were still 40 vehicles in the area.

RCMP members returned to the scene the following day to survey the damages and found human feces, toilet paper, garbage, empty alcohol containers, stolen traffic signs, and covid social distancing signs littering the ground that had obviously been stolen from Innisfail.  RCMP approximated crowds in the area to be approx. 500 people.

There was a fair amount of enforcement primarily in the form of Provincial tickets and both detachments worked together and conducted numerous checkstops in an attempt to ensure there were no impaired drivers leaving the area.  Law enforcement efforts will be ongoing in an attempt to maintain safety in the area and hopefully provide some peace to the people who reside there.

“This is concerning behavior which has become very unfortunate for people who reside in this area, their ability to enjoy their homes and their property has obviously been impacted.  Further to this RCMP are concerned with the criminal behavior as well as the health concerns which are obvious” (Sgt Lori Eiler).

RCMP response will continue to be prevalent and resources will be dedicated to prevention and public education primarily, however we will not hesitate to lay charges if the situation warrants it.

 

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