Don’t get scammed looking for love online!

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The South African Police Service has issued a warning to public members on the dangers of rising online dating scams.
The South African Police Service has issued a warning to public members on the dangers of rising online dating scams.

WITHOUT a doubt, fraudsters are constantly looking for new ideas to scam people.

And, online dating scams are reportedly on the rise, where people get scammed and extorted money. As a result, the police have urged the public to be aware of these scams.

The warning comes after a man, whose identity cannot be revealed, fell for a scam in March 2020, where Chinedu Jonathan Madueke (54) pretended to be an Italian woman.

Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said the victim started dating Madueke, and that resulted in an exchange of nude videos.

Months later, the victim was shocked when Madueke demanded $800 (about R12 400) from him to avoid his video from being leaked on social media.

Mulamu said the victim reported the matter to the Hawks, leading to Madueke’s arrest on 14 May.

Madueke pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and extortion. On Monday, 30 May, the Alexandra Magistrates Court sentenced the accused to seven years behind bars.

Cops have since urged people to keep in mind of the following tips:

  • Verify the profile photo of the person you are engaging with, and use Google to do a reverse search to check whether the photo was not stolen from someone else’s profile.
  • Do not be comfortable to an extent that you share your personal information. Fraudsters might use that to ask for money.
  • Never send your naked photos or videos. Just like in this case, the scammers might use them to extort money from you by threatening to share them on social media.
  • If you have doubts about the person you are communicating with, end the conversation immediately.
  • Report the scammer’s profile on whatever social media platform you will be using.
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