Arizona Operation Targets Online Romance Scammers

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 3:28pm
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An operation targeting online scammers has reportedly saved some Arizona residents money.

Katie Conner with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said they heard from Arizonans who’d been duped into wiring thousands of dollars overseas. So, investigators got a warrant to stop certain money transfers going from Arizona to the African nation of Ghana.

“Investigators would set up a temporary call center so when a person tried to wire money to Ghana they were transferred to our wire center and here’s where investigators would talk to them, tell them about the scam,” she said.

During the 20-day operation, she said they prevented Arizonans from wiring $14,000. Scammers spend weeks or months building relationships before asking for money for medical expenses or travel costs. Conner said women and older people are most likely to become victims.

“These scammers will look at dating websites, social media, networking sites, looking at everything they can, including a person’s relationship status, if they recently lost a spouse, and really any signs the person is lonely and vulnerable,” she said.

Experts say you should never send money to someone you do not know personally, especially if they are overseas.

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