Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office Warns Residents of Dating App Scam
Thanks to the Norfolk County Sheriff's Office for contributing this news to Westwood Minute.
DEDHAM , MA – The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be vigilant against a new scam targeting users of online dating apps, with scammers impersonating law enforcement investigators in an attempt to extort money from app users.
In a recent attempted extortion scheme, an area resident user of the dating app “Coffee Meets Bagel” exchanged numbers with a person he assumed was a Norfolk County resident. He then received a call from a person who identified himself as an investigator with the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office. The caller stated that the woman on the dating app was a minor who attempted to harm herself after her parents discovered the relationship. The scammer then told the man that the matter could be resolved if he agreed to pay for medical bills totaling over $11,000. The man also reported that he had been receiving text messages purporting to be sent from the woman’s family members who asked him to cover these medical expenses.
Suspicious of the interactions, the man contacted the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office to report the scam and confirm that the Sheriff’s Office does not ask for payments from residents or facilitate payments between parties.
“Scammers are skilled at preying on our emotional vulnerabilities in order to separate us from our money. Sometimes this is by preying on our relationships with others, our fears about the future, or threatening us with seemingly intense consequences,” said Sheriff McDermott. “If you are ever asked to give out personal information, money, or access to someone who you do not know or have not met, you should always cut off contact and immediately contact your local law enforcement.”
In addition to the “Coffee Meets Bagel” scam, the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office reports that a similar scam has been reported on the dating site Bumble. The Sheriff’s Office warns residents to be careful about giving out personal information or contact information on these sites. In addition to the dangers of scammers, revealing personal information such as your address can also put users at danger of being harmed. Before meeting with someone you met through an online app or website, be sure to tell someone where you are going and, if possible, share your location with them.
The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone that the Sheriff’s Office does not contact residents demanding payment or asking for payment on behalf of others. If you are ever contacted by someone claiming to be law enforcement who is demanding payment or threatening legal action, the Sheriff’s Office recommends hanging up and calling the agency that the person claimed to be from directly to confirm.