A Greensburg woman surrendered to North Carolina authorities last week after investigators accused her of stealing money from a person on a dating website by claiming to be a member of the military.
Authorities in the Pitt County Sheriff’s Department said Jo Ann Burkey, 63, was charged with accessing a computer to defraud, obtain property by false pretense and attempt to obtain property by false pretense, according to a news release.
The situation was reported to the department on Jan. 29 after a person who met Burkey through an online dating website sent her $7,500. Authorities said Burkey claimed to be in the military and needed money to ship her belongings back home.
Investigators said they determined the suspect was using a fake name on the website and later identified her as Burkey. She was released on $25,000 unsecured bond after surrendering July 15 at the Pitt County Detention Center in Greenville, N.C., about 478 miles south of Greensburg.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command said they get hundreds of complaints monthly about online romance scams in which a perpetrator claims to be a soldier in need of financial help for service-related needs.
Anyone conversing with someone online who claims to be a member of the military in need of money should be suspicious of the request, the command warns. Such scams can be reported to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov, the Federal Trade Commission and local police.
The FBI warns that those seeking love on dating websites should be wary if the other party establishes a relationship quickly and asks for money or bank account information.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .