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Winning their Hearts, Taking their Money

Some Internet love connections breed impostors who take you for all you're worth

By MEGGAN CLARK Health/Science Writer,
The Press of Atlantic City
Atlantic City, NJ - 8/10/06

ATLANTIC CITY — When Donna Andersen married James Montgomery in 1996, she thought she was marrying the man of her dreams: a successful entrepreneur, decorated Australian Special Forces veteran and devoted partner.

She soon found out she had married an accomplished con artist...  Read Story in the Press of Atlantic City

When Sanctuary
Becomes Hideout

By Brenda Cannon Stancil
The Examiner
Beaumont, TX - 3/24/05

Pastors and congregations of believers, beware.  Every time the doors are open for membership, churches are taking a gamble on potential trouble.

Most Protestant churches close the Sunday sermon with an open invitation for membership.  Traditionally, the pastor will say, "The doors of our fellowship are open to anyone who wishes to join our church today.  We accept members by baptism, by letters from another church of like faith and order or by a statement of testimony of a salvation experience.".....
Fugitives have typically fled to the haven and sanctuary churches offer for all of recorded history...Read Story in the Examiner. com

One Born Every Minute
The fiendish art of the modern con

By Eric Sofge
The Weekly Dig

Boston, MA - 11/19/03

To paraphrase PT Barnum, there are babies born at the astonishing rate of one per minute who will someday grow up to be suckers.  Their latent defect will fuel telemarketers, spammers and old-fashioned con men for generations to come.  

Even as the embattled Do-Not-Call Registry and unenforceable anti-spam legislation take center stage, it's apparent that the scam, the con, the ceaseless liberation of the mark's hard-earned wages by the snakes in our midst, will live on.  For every shell game classic, there's something new and increasingly horrific in the con man's arsenal.

This past May, the Boston Police issued a warning for local ATM users and a request for information on two individuals suspected of hi-tech "shoulder-surfing."...Read Story in the Weeklydig.com 

Suspected Con Artist 
Wanted in Three States

Hardin & Marion Counties, KY - 12/02 & 1/03

A suspect in a series of quick-change scams  in the area is wanted by police in at least three states...Read Story in the...
           The News-Enterprise -
           The Lebanon Enterprise -   1/14/03

Missing Woman Believed 
to Be With Wanted Man

Lexington, KY - 12/30/02

Police say he's been conning people out of cash and cars for years and they believe a Lexington woman, listed as a missing person, is with him...Read Story at WLEX-TV Online

   Love Suckers

Romance swindlers are leaving Valley seniors with empty wallets and broken hearts. That is, when they leave them alive.

The Scottsdale Times
Scottsdale, AZ - 4/1/2007

Walter Nellis knows how to identify and attack an enemy target. The 82-year-old snowbird piloted bombers over Germany during World War II. Little did he know that he himself had become a target on a recent afternoon in Scottsdale. Nellis was lunching at Sweet Tomatoes, where he ordered his favorite meal and, like most meals since his wife passed away, sat down to enjoy it alone.

Nellis had barely finished squeezing a lemon into his iced tea when he was approached by an attractive, olive-skinned woman who acted like she knew him. “How are you?” she asked. “It’s been so long,” she said, smiling and taking a chair at Nellis’s table.

Nellis’s thick eyebrows rose in surprise. “You must have me confused with someone else. I don’t believe I know you,” he told the woman in his characteristically shaky voice...
Read Story in The Scottsdale Times

Check Background Before Diving into a Relationship

Single again column

The Orange County Register
Orange County, CA - 7/31/06

"The only sure protection against fraud by someone you are involved with is to look deep into their past before they look deep into your eyes," says Rhoda Cook, national coordinator for CUFF (Citizens United to Find Fugitives), a nonprofit company that deals with sweetheart fraud..Read Story in the Orange CountyRegister

Seduced Into Scams -
Online Lovers Often Duped

Technology Correspondent
MSNBC.com - 7/28/05

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.

When Theresa Smalley received a note from Richie last January asking if she wanted to chat, she was flattered. He seemed cute. The two began exchanging e-mails, friendly at first, but quickly swelling in intensity and passion. By Valentine's Day, Smalley received a box of chocolate candy, a teddy bear, and a helium balloon that said "I love you." Smalley, 46, was hooked, even though she had never met him...  Read Story at MSNBC.com

Toledo, Ohio Case Exposes Gaps In Criminal Databases

Failure of police to enter warrants can 
leave felons on the loose

Toledo, Ohio - 4/17/05
At least six traffic stops. Five driver's license renewals. One night in jail.

At any of those times, Toledo's most elusive murder suspect could have been nabbed in a four-decade-old electronic, nationwide web for fugitives - had Toledo police entered the arrest warrant into an FBI database.

Now, the arrest of David Delacruz raises a key question: Are there other fugitives whose warrants have not been entered into the proper electronic databases?...Read Story in the Toldeo Blade.com.