Ohio couple accused of dating-service scam


A cautionary tale has emerged out of Ohio for anyone who's ever signed up for an online dating service.

A Toledo couple is accused of extorting money from at least seven people around the country through a dating service phone scam by convincing them they had sent illicit photos and messages to the cell phone of the a likely fictitious 11-year-old child.

Kevin Zunk, 43, and Tonya Blaze, 40, would then allegedly demand money in exchange for not going to police. The couple made more than $10,000 through the scheme, all from people connected to the dating service, which is not named in the federal affidavit.

The scam worked like this: the couple gave their victims a phone number and convinced them to send sexual messages and photos to the phone. They then told the victims the messages were received by the child, and threatened to tell police and call the victim's work if money was not handed over.

The pair are now facing federal extortion charges after a Florida man called the FBI after he sent $2,485 to Zunk. Other victims included people in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.

Here are 12 tips for safe online dating.