It was a match made in hell — and cost a woman $80,000.
The Georgia woman, who was looking for love on Match.com, met a 35-year-old man who claimed to be a millionaire and decided to go on a date the very same day they connected on March 27.
A week later, the lovebirds took their whirlwind romance to the next level and agreed to get hitched.
“During their short romance, he convinced her that they were in love and wanted to buy a house together,” Gwinnett County spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“They went house-hunting and selected a home they were interested in,” she added.
The Alpharetta woman gave her fiancé, John Martin Hill, $80,000 to put toward the purchase of their new home and to buy furniture for their love nest.
“Following the exchange of money, the suspect ceased all contact,” Pihera said.
Police said they discovered that Hill wasn’t exactly on the up and up.
The supposed millionaire was in fact a “con artist” whom they tracked to an apartment in Duluth, Georgia, that he shares with a woman and a child.
“The woman said she is in a relationship with the suspect. However, she didn’t know what his profession was,” Pihera told WSB TV. “Also, she said he was only home on weekends. During the week, she didn’t know where he went.”
Investigators said Hill has changed his name several times in the past two and a half years — and is accused of committing similar acts in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey.
Police have a warrant for the arrest of Hill, who is charged with theft by deception.
Thousands of people are caught in romance scams across the US each year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
In 2015, 8,500 scams of the heart were reported to the agency, and the crimes cost their victims about $33 million, the FTC said.
By last year, the numbers had risen dramatically, with 21,000 reported scams totaling $143 million in losses, the agency said.
“People who said they were ages 40 to 69 reported losing money to romance scams at the highest rates — more than twice the rate of people in their 20s,” according to the agency.
“At the same time, people 70 and over reported the highest individual median losses at $10,000,” it added.
The median reported loss to such scams in 2018 was $2,600.This article was originally posted here.