The Lee County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division received reports of Financial Crimes this week; with the victim's losses amounting to over $100,000.00/xx dollars.
Investigators have determined that suspects become involved with people online through dating and other similar applications. Typically, single women over the age of 45 are targeted through online/phone "relationships". The victims are eventually asked to assist with various financial transactions including opening bank accounts, depositing checks, purchasing gift cards, and moving money to various financial institutions to help their newfound "friend".
Once trust is established, the victim is asked to furnish money to help a temporary financial situation, under the guise that the victim will be repaid in a short period of time, which never occurs.
Law enforcement realizes the potential for underreported cases can be high due to crime victim's feeling embarrassment and shame. This is part of a scam suspect's control and a point of manipulation within this ever-growing and underreported theft scam.
Please have these difficult discussions with your family and friends who might share information with you about these types of online/phone encounters. Please be vigilant and contact us at the Sheriff's Office if we may ever be of assistance to you. We will be more than happy to inform you of these types of scams. We do not want our citizens to become victims of crime.
Sheriff ~ Lee County
An Investigator at the Lee County Sheriff's Office can be contacted by calling 979-542-2800 or by email.