• Mid-South woman claims online dating scammer broke her heart, tried to empty her bank account


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Mid-South woman said she was a victim of an internet dating scam.

    The Federal Trade Commission said this type of scam has victimized more than 21,000 just in 2018.

    And the cost to victims is staggering, according to the FTC. Victims reported losing more than $143 million. 

    One Mid-South woman said a man claimed to be a doctor didn’t just break her heart. He tried to empty her bank account.

    LaNeka Rogers thought she found love when her mother got sick from cancer. She joined an internet dating site.

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    A man who claimed to be a doctor working for the U.S. Army in Lebanon reached out to her. They talked online, exchanged emails, but never spoke on the phone.

    He sent her pictures, flowers and made promises.

    “He was talking about he wanted to spoil me and give me all the things I wanted," Rogers said.

    Just when she though Cupid had struck, the suitor asked her to buy him gift cards – $25 at first, then $300, credit cards and it continued.

    “He started asking for $2,000 because he needed to come back overseas to the United States,” said Rogers.

    At that point, Rogers’ mother told her to stop because it was fraud.

    The Better Business Bureau did a study on romance scams and found more than one million victims. 

    FOX13 tried to track down the fake bachelor, but his name didn’t appear in any of the locations he told Rogers he lived.

    According to OkCupid’s website, its own rules forbid members from misrepresenting their identity, age, and other characteristics.

    FTC officials said never send money to anyone you have never met face-to-face and won’t talk on the phone.

    And as BBB pointed out, almost every social media platform has some type of live video service.

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