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San Jose Woman Victim Of Dating Site Fraud

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Prosecutors in Santa Clara County are warning people about the possibility of dating website fraud after a 66-year-old San Jose woman was bilked out of more than $500,000 by a man who befriended her through the site, ChristianMingle.com.

The unidentified man allegedly purported to be a citizen of the United Kingdom working on a Scottish oil rig. Prosecutors say he wooed the victim with phone calls, text messages and flowers before asking her to invest or loan him money.

His Skype account and email addresses were later traced to Nigeria.

Prosecutors say the victim was able to recover about $200,000 she sent to a bank account in Turkey, where an associate of the suspect was arrested.

ChristianMingle spokeswoman Arielle Schechtman says the site has reached out to Santa Clara prosecutors to offer its assistance. It requires potential new members to sign a pledge not to send money to anyone they meet online.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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