Martinez woman scammed out of $145K by man she met online

Some old scams are using new methods, and one of the latest is cryptocurrency. Here's a look at the problem.
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 12:05 PM EDT
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MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A Martinez woman was scammed out of $145,000 by a man she met through an online dating site, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

She called deputies on Friday to report the scam.

In early March, she began texting a man she met on a millionaire dating site.

He told her he lived in Sunset Islands, Fla., and she believed it was going to become a serious relationship, according to deputies.

She said he encouraged her to invest in cryptocurrency through an online site and said he would teach her how to make a profit on the investment.

She took out several personal loans and invested about $145,000 via the website through March 23.

She got a notice that she was able to withdraw the amount she made in profit but she first had to make a payment that would cover the tax amount.

Many scams have been around for years but often get a new twist. Here are some things to watch for.

She became suspicious and began researching the website and discovered it’s not legitimate, deputies reported.

Another Martinez woman recently also lost several thousand dollars to a scammer.

She contacted deputies Thursday and told them an unknown person called her and told her she’d won $1.3 million.

The scammer – who said he was “Paul Snyder with Publishers Clearing House” – told her that to get the money, she had to send him several Green Dot Money Pak scratch cards.

She sent about $2,000 before she realized it was a scam.

The two Martinez victims are among the latest people targeted in scams promising them a windfall.

These are old scams but use some new techniques like reloadable cash cards, cryptocurrency or cash apps.

Scammers use these methods because once the money is gone, it’s gone and hard to trace.