KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A metro woman who was scammed out of thousands of dollars using an online dating website is hoping other women will not fall victim to the same trap. Karen Briner said she had three different men on Match.com trick her into giving them money.
“They’re good, I hate to say it but they are good at what they do,” Briner said. “They play on the feelings that you give them and that’s how these women like me get sucked up into believing that we matter.”
The Better Business Bureau sent out a warning to consumers this week, reminding them to be careful while using online dating websites. Aaron Reese, with The Kansas City BBB, said online dating website scams happen often.
“They earn the person’s trust over time, a lot of times it can take most of a year before they finally break someone down,” Reese said.
Reese said the suspect will pretend to have a relationship with the victim and continue to build the trust, then, he said they will suddenly pretend to have some huge financial emergency and ask for help.
“They are constantly building rapport and building trust until they can take advantage of them and ask for money for some emergency, something that popped up,” he said.
Briner said the three men she met on Match.com convinced her to send them a total of $8,000. She said one of the men called her in a panic and said his children were involved in a bad car accident and he needed money immediately.
“They are going to play on your maternity instincts, you know if you bring kids involved most women will want to give money to help the kids,” she told FOX 4.
Briner said the three men said they were from Kansas City and even had Kansas City phone numbers, but she found out later they all live in different counties. She said when she filed a police report the FBI got involved but have been able to track any of the three men down or recover any of Briner’s money.
The BBB revoked Match.com’s accreditation after it received an “F” grade. FOX 4 reached out to Match.com for comment on Friday but have not yet heard back.
Briner wants other women to be aware scammers like this are out there.
“I have feelings just like everybody else and I know I got used but there’s nothing I can do about it,” she said. “It’s a shame, it’s really a shame we get treated like we don’t exist.”
Reese encourages anyone who has been scammed online dating to report it using the BBB’s scam tracker.