FBI warns of online dating extortion scam; dozen cases in AZ - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

FBI warns of online dating extortion scam; dozen cases in AZ

© CBS 5 © CBS 5
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Online dating scams are nothing new, but the FBI says the most recent racket is a little different.

An FBI agent tells CBS 5 the agency has seen about a dozen reports in Arizona where suspects prey on vulnerable victims. Using their personal information and sexy pictures, the suspect tries to embarrass and  blackmail them.  

On a variety of sites from Match.com and Craigslist to Christian Mingle and Adult Friend Finder, a lonely heart is the initial target.

Once an online conversation is established, which usually becomes sexual in nature, phone numbers and private pictures are exchanged.   

Later the victim receives a text with a link to a website that can show their picture, name, number and private exchanges. The site claims they're a cheater.

The con artist then targets the victim's wallet, demanding $99 to remove the shameful page.

The victim is promised that if payment is made, likely through money transfer services like Western Union, the site would disappear within an hour.

The FBI says the reports they have don't show those sites were ever removed. They say tracking suspects down is tricky, and it usually involves other jurisdictions. 

Copyright KPHO  CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Sidebar: Arizona mug shots

SLIDESHOW:  Mug shots More>>

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • 4 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza border protest

    4 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza border protest

    Saturday, April 21 2018 1:44 AM EDT2018-04-21 05:44:10 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 5:35 AM EDT2018-04-21 09:35:59 GMT
    (AP Photo/Adel Hana). Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded youth during clashes with Israeli troops along Gaza's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, April 20, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians joined the fourth weekly protes...(AP Photo/Adel Hana). Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded youth during clashes with Israeli troops along Gaza's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Friday, April 20, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians joined the fourth weekly protes...

    Gaza health officials say 4 Palestinians, including 15-year-old boy, killed by Israeli army fire as thousands join fourth weekly protests on Gaza border.

    More >>

    Gaza health officials say 4 Palestinians, including 15-year-old boy, killed by Israeli army fire as thousands join fourth weekly protests on Gaza border.

    More >>
  • DOJ looks into how AT&T, Verizon handle defecting customers

    DOJ looks into how AT&T, Verizon handle defecting customers

    Friday, April 20 2018 7:43 PM EDT2018-04-20 23:43:53 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 5:35 AM EDT2018-04-21 09:35:36 GMT
    The Justice Department is investigating AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group. (Source: Raycom Media)The Justice Department is investigating AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group. (Source: Raycom Media)
    The Justice Department is investigating AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group. (Source: Raycom Media)The Justice Department is investigating AT&T, Verizon and a standards-setting group. (Source: Raycom Media)

    The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into whether AT&T and Verizon and a standards-setting group worked together to hinder consumers from easily switching wireless carriers.

    More >>

    The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into whether AT&T and Verizon and a standards-setting group worked together to hinder consumers from easily switching wireless carriers.

    More >>
  • Jeb Bush to eulogize mother, Barbara, in private service

    Jeb Bush to eulogize mother, Barbara, in private service

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:04:04 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 5:35 AM EDT2018-04-21 09:35:29 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly