Convicted identity thief Maria Christina Johnson, 43, of the Los Angeles area is accused of stealing big from men she met through online dating.
Scamaroo review: California scheming, anatomy of a sweetheart scam and bye, bye 401k
There's a whole lotta scamming a happening in dating land. So what's new?
These personality traits make people most vulnerable to online dating scams, study says.
This sweetheart scam/ID theft combo, for starters. Various reports, including this one from Frank Shyong of the Los Angeles Times, say Marina Christina Johnson, 43, is accused of luring men with her good looks and then stealing their personal information to open new lines of credit without their knowledge. Adds the LA Times story:
Johnson — also known as Maria Hendricks, Gia Hendricks, Maria Christina Gia and Maria Hainka — has been arrested and charged multiple times before for various forms of fraud, identity theft and burglary before, according to a statement from the sheriff's department.
After she successfully assumed an identity, investigators say, she moved into high-end hotels and charged thousands of dollars of goods and services to her victims, even attempting to purchase a car at one point, authorities said.
Johnson is accused with making off with more than $250,000 from her victims.
The Readers Digest shares a painful story from Doug Shadel and David Dudley of AARP the Magazine that outlines how a woman and her heart got taken to the tune of $300,000. This is an intriguing read with lots of insights on how a disaster like this can — and does — happen.
Unfortunately, there's more scamming afoot to share, including:
- Sweetheart scammer cons New Jersey woman out of $200,000 from her 401k retirement account, from CBS New York
- California man, 83, stung by online dating scammer, from Patch.com
- Elderly Houston woman calls Facebook scammer who sapped her of more than $60,000 "a fabulous actor," by Jessica Willey of ABC 13 Houston.
- Bogus beau takes Tennessee woman for $3,500, from the Times-News of Kingsport by Jeff Bobo
- A group date and a swiping of the wrong kind for a New Zealand man on Tinder, from One News Now
- And scammers posing as police officers in Fort Myers here in Florida, as carried by Wink News
On the brighter side, here are some tips for safe online dating from Bela Gandhi of Fox32 in Chicago. For more dating safety tips to help you protect your wallet, heart and life, see the InspectaDate Dating Safety Tips Page.