They were in search of love online – instead, they were scammed out of $2 million. A New Jersey man was arrested Wednesday for defrauding more than 30 victims after wooing them on internet dating sites.
Rubbin Sarpong, 35, of Millville, New Jersey has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito in a press release.
Sarpong concocted online dating profiles mostly portraying US military personnel stationed overseas and looking for romance. The profiles were actually made up, using fictitious or stolen identities federal prosecutors in Camden, New Jersey said.
(Instagram photo of Rubbin Sarpong, confirmed by authorities)
“Unfortunately, we live in an era where every contact we have with a stranger online must be viewed through the lens of skepticism,” said FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Gregory Ehrie. “Fraudsters are constantly searching for ways to separate people from their money in order to reap a profit while putting forth little effort.”
Since January, 2016, Sarpong fooled his victims into collectively sending him money through wire transfers, personal/cashier's checks, and money transfer services such as Western Union, according to the criminal complaint. He told them he needed the money to ship gold bars to the United States, prosecutors said, but really kept it for himself and conspirators in Ghana.
Sarpong posted photographs of himself on social media posing with large amounts of cash, high-end cars and expensive jewelry.
(Instagram photo of Rubbin Sarpong, confirmed by authorities.)
He is scheduled to make an initial appearance before a federal judge in Camden on Wednesday afternoon and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.