Woman, 69, charged in alleged romance scam that duped women out of millions: Toronto police | #datingscams | #russianliovescams | #lovescams

Toronto police have charged a 69-year-old woman in connection with an alleged scam that saw a number of women duped into sending what is believed to be millions of dollars to a person they believed to be a romantic interest.

Investigators launched a fraud probe in September around a person residing in British Columbia who had allegedly laundered money in the Greater Toronto Area.

According to police, the investigation found that the suspect targeted a number of women online by posing as a man and striking up friendships or romantic relationships over dating websites and social media.

Once a relationship was developed, police said, the suspect would then ask to borrow large sums of money with the promise of a full refund.

Posing as a man, the suspect offered up various reasons why money was needed. In some instances, police allege, the fictitious man said he was working out-of-country and had had his passport confiscated or required travel expenses covered.

Other invented emergencies included work related accidents, border issues, medical bills, or withheld funds, police said

The victims would then send money to the suspect’s various bank accounts via wire transfers and e-transfers and were also asked to open separate bank accounts and provide the suspect with banking details, police allege.

“The monetary demands increased. If the victims were apprehensive to comply, they were threatened,” police said in a news release Friday. “Victims were promised a full refund when all the demands were met. It is estimated people were defrauded of millions of dollars.”

A suspect was arrested in the case on Sept. 22.

Police said 69-year-old Aleth Duell of Toronto has been charged with fraud over $5,000 and money laundering.

She made a court appearance in Toronto on Tuesday via video link.

Investigators also published a list of business accounts owned by Duell. They include Altomson International LLC, Altombrand Global Services Inc, Celestial Dance Workout Corp., Laperrie Consultant Services and High Energy Hangout LLC.

Police said they are concerned that there may be more victims are asking anyone with further information to come forward to investigators.

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