A New-Jersey man was arrested for scamming more than 30 people of $2.1 million. He has been charged for online dating scams. The 35- year old man tricked victims into sending money to non-existent US soldiers overseas.
An Elaborate Dating Scam
Rubbin Sarpong and many other collaborators reside in Ghana. From January 2016 to September 2019, they set up fake online profiles on various dating websites. Moreover, they stole the identities of US military personnel stationed overseas.
Furthermore, they contacted the victims through these dating websites and pretended to strike up a romantic relationship with them. After wooing them he and other plotters would ask them for money. Often for the purpose of shipping non-existent gold bars to the US.
This scamming led to the tragic death of a woman. Rubin had convinced her to send him $93,000 for shipping more than $12 million worth of gold bars from Syria. Furthermore, he sent her a picture of an Israeli diplomat who she was supposed to meet at the Baltimore airport. He would be bringing her two trunks with a family treasure. The woman who went to collect it found that he never showed up. And the next day she killed herself.
Sarpong also posted selfies of him with a large stack of cash, expensive designer clothing and luxury cars to his Instagram. It is estimated that he received $823,386 in the scheme. In March 2017 he posted a photo of himself sitting on a car with a large stack of money. Again, in May 2017 he posted of photo of himself in front of a Mercedes car. And in December he posted a photo captioned, “BigBusiness Done…Now We Waiting For The Checks To Clear”. Of the total $2.1 million obtained, 40% went to Sarpong.
Sarpong and others used various email accounts and Voice Over Internet protocol phone numbers to connect with and instruct the victims. Furthermore, most of the money in which the victims wired was put in an account that was controlled by Sarpong. According to the authorities he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Patrick Peterson the chief executive of Agari, a cybersecurity firm said that while Sarpong lives in New Jersey, his co-conspirators are still safe and sound in Ghana.