WOODBRIDGE – A 46-year-old woman from the Avenel section was nearly scammed out of $1,900 by a person she communicated with through an dating app.
The woman told police on Oct. 31 that she had an online dating relationship with a man that she has been talking to for a few months. She told police the man is currently deployed with the Army somewhere in Africa.
The woman told police she has never met the man face to face, but they usually talk and text through an app called “Hangout.”
The woman said she gives the man money and sent him gift cards because he is deployed.
Police said the woman recently gave her bank account information to the man so he could access her funds. In return he promised to marry her when he returned from his deployment, even though they have never met.
The woman told police that recently she received several text alerts from her bank. When she contacted her bank she learned someone attempted to deposit a fake check for $1,900 in her account and she contacted police.
The woman told police she had no information about the man except for his Facebook profile, which appeared to be fake.
Police told the woman that she was being “catfished,” a term used when someone lures another person into a relationship using a fake online identity, in this case for financial gain.
The woman was told to cut all ties with the man and contact her financial institution to have her account changed or safeguarded.
The scam was one of two reported in Woodbridge on the same day.
Around 7:21 p.m. Oct. 31, a 21-year-old township man said he had received a call from an unknown number two hours earlier in which a man claiming to be from the Federal Reserve in New York said the township man had won a $9,000 grant.
To claim the grant the Woodbridge man would have to purchase $1,000 in iTunes and Stream gift cards and read the serial number over the telephone. After purchasing the gift cards the Woodbridge man called the telephone number back and read off the serial numbers.
But when the caller asked for an additional $800 the Woodbridge man grew suspicous of the scam and came to police headquarters to report the incident. Police advised the Woodbridge man to contact the bank to dispute the transaction.