By Maki Becker
A woman reported to South District police early today that she was swindled out of $1,200 by a phony Romeo she met through the online dating service, Match.com.
The victim said she met a man who identified himself as "Joseph Patterson" on the dating Web site on Dec. 29. She said the man persuaded her to send him four money orders totaling $1,200, which he claimed he would use to buy a plane ticket to come visit her.
The man also sent the woman a fake check for $2,455. The check did not have a water mark and was from a bank that does not exist.
The man told her to cash it and send him the money.
The victim initially contacted the FBI out of fear that she was not only the victim of a scam but also that her personal identity and credit information may have been compromised.
The FBI told her to file a report with the Buffalo Police, which she did.