SPOKANE, Wash. – Just when you think you have heard it all, scammers come up with a new ploy to con people out of money. Apparently, scammers are now moving to dating apps to make their move.
It all started when a man signed up for a dating profile on Plenty of Fish, an online dating website. When he started chatting with a girl, things took a turn and she tried to exploit him for money.
“I was really upset, like I didn’t know if I was going to be in jail, I didn’t know anything,” Taylor, victim of the scam, said.
Scams seem to come in all different forms these days. There is the jury duty scam, a scam that claims there’s a warrant out for your arrest, and even one that claims you owe money to the IRS.
While story lines are different, the idea is all the same. Scammers claim you did something wrong and you have to pay them to stay out of trouble. That is exactly what happened to Taylor after he thought he met a woman online.
“We were chatting away, everything clicked and what not,” Taylor said.
Things took a turn quickly though. At first, her profile said she was 21, but she later changed her story and told him she was underage.
“She was telling me like, well, you know I’m 17 and then sent me a whole bunch of nasty, dirty pictures, and I was like, no, no, no, no, no,” Taylor said.
Naked pictures of anyone under the age of 18 are considered child pornography. Taylor said he immediately called police to report what happened and cut off communication with the number.
“And then this morning, her dad calls and says that’s inappropriate and we’re going to be calling the cops unless you give us $300,” Taylor said.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said this dating scam pops up a couple times a month, but it is not as prevalent as other scams.
“The area code on that number was 208, so I called the CDA police department and they said it was a scam, I called Post Falls and they said it was a scam, I called Spokane and they said it was a scam as well,” Taylor said.
Taylor did the right thing by calling police immediately. He said he never asked for the photos and was shocked to get them. He is now warning other people so it does not happen to someone else.
“Be aware of who you’re talking to,” Taylor said.
After this experience, Taylor said he probably will not be doing any more online dating for a while.
“I don’t want to go on the website anymore, you know, I’ll probably go to a coffee shop or bar, you know that’s in person,” Taylor said.