Buyer beware with online dating sites (and investment schemes)


If you think you've had some weird experiences with dating, especially with people you've met online, you haven't heard anything yet! Check out the story of a homeless man who posed as a successful music producer to participate in the online dating site

Paul Kreuger used a laptop computer while homeless to scam 13 women out of more than $100,000. He told the women that he was a music producer with 20 years of industry experience and Grammy nominations to his name. He then pitched the women on investing money in a "business" he was supposedly starting.

Once he got the money from the women, they say he broke off the relationships and they weren't able to get in contact with him again. This story illustrates two of the oldest scams around: investment scams which are nothing more than vehicles to take your money, and relationship scams that essentially do the same.

Ladies need only one piece of advice: Don't give money to anyone you're dating, especially not if you're newly dating, and even more so if you've met online. Really, in this day and age, I can't believe women aren't a little more money and relationship savvy than this!

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.