The Tulsa U.S. Attorney’s Office charges ten men, accused scamming at least three victims out of more than a million dollars. Investigators said seven men have been arrested and they are still looking for the other three.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said victims of this romance scam were from Oklahoma, Florida and Ohio and there could be more victims.
"Sadly, experience tells us that many of these victims will never see their money again," said Tulsa’s U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.
Investigators say the suspects pretended to be in a romantic relationship with the victims and asked for small gifts like gift cards in the beginning. Then as the relationship went on, investigators say the men would claim they needed more money because their company credit cards stopped working. The U.S. Attorney's Office said one victim alone sent fifty thousand dollars into bank accounts the suspects created using fake names. That victim believed their money would be reimbursed.
"These victims like many others were looking for love. They were looking for friendship. They were looking for companionship. They were looking for a partner with him to share their life and they went to the Internet to find that person. Sadly, what they found where these con-artists," said Shores.
The indictment says the men funneled most of the money to Nigeria and laundered the money through a number of different accounts.
"If an online acquaintance asks you to send gifts or funds to them do not send your hard earned money or your savings to that individual. Do not feel guilty about saying no," said Shores.
Federal agents arrested seven of the suspects and are still looking for the remaining three.
"Rest assured that the FBI and our law enforcement partners are looking for them. We will identify who you are and we will bring you to justice," said Shores.
The US Attorney's Office said a lot of times victims of scams don't come forward and the crime continues. There are ways to report these situations to officers if you think you or someone you know is a victim.