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Be wary of online romances

Ken Kleinlein

Ken Klein­lein

By Ken Kleinlein

Crime Scene    

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – Thanks to Engle­wood com­puter guru George Mar­riott of AccessFlorida.net for pro­vid­ing the fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion on an inter­net scam.

It begins on Face­book where women pick out their tar­gets and develop friend­ships that at some point become sex­ual.  Even­tu­ally this lusty young lady offers a good time on Skype for free.

Later she gets in touch with the vic­tim claim­ing to be under age and threat­ens to make the Skype videos pub­lic unless the tar­get coughs up compensation.

Police have received a num­ber of com­plaints about women sex­u­ally enter­tain­ing men
then claim­ing to be under­age and demand­ing hush money. The only thing that mat­ters
to the scam­mers is whether the vic­tim has the money to cover up a poten­tially
embar­rass­ing – or even ille­gal – sex scandal.

Engle­wood res­i­dent Tom Swept­son received the fol­low­ing e-mail (paraphrased):

I’m Miss Nina Mabiza. I am slim of stature and like being hon­est, trust­wor­thy and
sin­cere. It inter­ests me to know you more. I am yel­low in com­plex­ion. Write me at
ninamabiza@gmail.com and I will send you my pic­ture after hear­ing from you. In my spare time I like moon­light walks on the beach, prepar­ing can­dle light din­ners for some­one spe­cial, sit­ting and watch­ing the sun set, sit­ting in front of a fire, trav­el­ing, and going to muse­ums and con­certs. I will tell more about myself in my next e-mail dear and hope to hear from you soon.
Love from,
Miss Nina”

These con games have been around for awhile and have dif­fer­ent twists. Back in 2009, a retired nurse from Sacra­mento, Calif., whose doc­tor hus­band had recently passed away, was con­tacted on the Inter­net by an indi­vid­ual iden­ti­fy­ing him­self as “Mar­cello.” Shortly after the con­tact he began to pro­fess his love for her.

It was “honey I love you so much, God told me we were meant for each other.”

She believed him when he told her that after fly­ing to Switzer­land for busi­ness a col­league sus­tained a brain injury and his bank would not let him access his account in order to pay for his daugh­ters kid­ney trans­plant. Another story was that he was kid­napped by the Ital­ian Mafia and he needed ran­som money. There were always more money requests for many dif­fer­ent reasons.

When she even­tu­ally reported the crime to the FBI, the inves­ti­ga­tion dis­closed that
“Mar­cello” was actu­ally a 29-year-old Niger­ian. By then she was out $500,000.

These preda­tors prowl dat­ing and mil­i­tary sites, chat rooms, and social media
venues in their search for victims.

Never respond to requests for cash from any­one who has con­tacted you on the Inter­net for any rea­son. Do not answer such e-mails; report them to the proper authorities!

Thank you, Rep. Pilon

As a mem­ber of the Board of Direc­tors of Do The Right Thing for Kids in Sara­sota, I
want to take this oppor­tu­nity to thank Florida State Rep. Ray Pilon (R-District 72)
– a for­mer police offi­cer – for his most gen­er­ous dona­tion of $1,000.

DTRT rec­og­nizes and rewards local kids for  acts of kind­ness, self improve­ment,
com­mu­nity involve­ment, and other good deeds and actions. The board also con­sists of
Sara­sota Sher­iff Tom Knight, and the chiefs of police of Venice, North Port,
Sara­sota, and Long Boat Key.

To nom­i­nate a kid or make a dona­tion, con­tact Sgt. Tom Laip­ply of the Sara­sota Sheriff’s Office at 927‑4190; Sara­sota School Board Mem­ber Car­o­line Zucker at 927‑9000; or call the prin­ci­pal of the school your nom­i­nee attends.

Take care, be care­ful, and I’ll see you at the next Crime Scene.

God bless and pro­tect our mil­i­tary, law enforce­ment offi­cers, and fire fighters.

Ken Klein­lein is a for­mer detec­tive with the NYPD spe­cial frauds squad coor­di­nat­ing with
local, state, and fed­eral law enforce­ment along with cer­ti­fied secu­rity agen­cies on
mat­ters of crime pre­ven­tion and pub­lic information.

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