Police make arrest in three-year “romance scam” investigation | #datingscams | #lovescams

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) Regional Fraud Unit has completed a three-year fraud investigation that began back in 2019. The arrest of one suspect who targeted an Oakville victim has been made.

In January of 2019, fraud investigators initiated an investigation regarding an online dating scam that victimized an Oakville resident of approximately $70,000. The suspect would initiate and maintain contact with his victims through email and text, establish trust through this remote relationship, and convince them to transfer funds.

Following a lengthy investigation, and the identification of several other victims across the country, the suspect was identified. The suspect used a number of aliases and targeted older adult victims across Canada, with reported losses totalling approximately $370,000.

On the March 17, 2022, the Regional Fraud Unit executed a search warrant at an apartment unit in Mississauga and arrested one male, 34-year-old suspect. The suspect was charged with six counts of Fraud Over $5,000 and is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.

It is believed that the suspect was operating under a number of different aliases including:

  • Dante Leonardo
  • Sean Bruno
  • Jason Roberto

It is believed that similar profile images were used in creating these false dating profiles accompanying these aliases. Investigators believe they were taken from an online source.

Note: An example photo is shown right, but the face is blurred because the picture was one of the fake ones used by the accused when pretending to be someone else, and are not of the accused suspect himself.

The person in this photo was not involved with these crimes in any way shape or form.

Additional parties may have been victimized as a result of this scam, and police are hopeful that the aliases and images provided may encourage others to report these incidents to their local police jurisdictions.

For further inquiries, contact the Halton Regional Police Service – Fraud Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 8741.

Additional information on frauds and scams can be found online here.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

Presumption of Innocence

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