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Five weeks later, when the bank came calling, all ,000 in Ryan's bank account — most of it from a student loan earmarked for next semester's tuition — was frozen by his bank. She seemed to be into the music I was into." Flowers bought with stolen credit cards Nigerian-based con artists seem to have seized on sweetheart scams of late, said Dale Miskell, supervisory special agent in charge of an FBI cybercrime squad in Birmingham, Ala.Scam artists post ads to online dating sites and lurk in chat rooms with names like "40 and single," or "Recently dumped." Often, they reach out to a lonely soul with flowers or candy, purchased with a stolen credit card.He spent four months gaining my trust and he did it." So-called Nigerian scams, where victims are ultimately tricked into sending money to the African country using some irreversible method like a wire transfer, are common. But the seductive flavor of this type of the scam — known to some as "sweetheart scams" — and the incredible patience shown by the scammer reveal just how far con artists will go to trick their marks. of Washington state, who asked that his last name be withheld, says he sent ,200 to a similarly seductive scammer. Ryan was approached while hanging out in a chat room devoted to Grateful Dead fans.His seducer also claimed to be an American out of the country getting paid via money order, and also ultimately asked him to cash them. "The thing that duped me was the whole music issue.Now they can get on the Internet and go across the world," Cook said."When you meet someone and you really want someone you just want to believe them." Her advice to daters is the same, online or off: "Enjoy the relationship, but keep your money to yourself," she said.
There have been so many victims that they are starting to find each other online.Richie's picture showed a jolly, bearded man curled up on a couch with a cat rubbing his face."Loving, caring and hardworking," the online dating profile said.In other cases, the con artists aren't after money -- they are after shipping help. "They say, 'Oh, once you have them, why not just send them?They ask their correspondents to "re-ship" items to locations in Nigeria. People say, 'I've got these packages and I don't know why,'" Gregory said.