DENVER - Brit Clousing is a software developer and former model. He is also an unwitting participant in an online dating scam.
His picture is being used throughout the U.S. on online dating sites without his permission and until last week without his knowledge.
"It's an off-shoot of the original Nigerian scam," according to Lon Garner of the Secret Service. The original scam, based out of Nigeria, asked people to invest in oil and gas, and then took the money with no return on the investment. That evolved into sweepstakes-type scams where you had to send in money to win. This new version of the scam targets online dating sites.
Clousing found out his picture was being used after a 9Wants to Know investigation that aired last week. Clousing's picture was used to try to bilk a Denver woman out of $6,200.
"I feel badly about those being victimized," Clousing said. "I was shocked."
Another victim contacted 9NEWS because he'd been swindled out of $4,450 in various fees by a woman from Africa. He didn't want his name or picture used, but wanted the information out so it does not happen to others.
The problem the victims have told us is the hope that the online e-mails might actually lead to a solid relationship.
If you're registered with online dating and someone asks you for money, experts say you should hit delete.
If you have what you think is this type of mailing, where someone asks you for money and you haven't made the original contact, send the information to the U.S. Secret Service in Denver. You can contact them at 303-866-1010.
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