Criminals Using Photos of Dead Service Members to Con Victims on Dating Sites - NBC 7 San Diego

Criminals Using Photos of Dead Service Members to Con Victims on Dating Sites

A new dating app is hoping to make it difficult for people to con their users into giving money to them

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    Developers of a new dating app are warning customers about the prevalence of criminals fraudulently using pictures of dead and active duty service members on various sites to con victims and steal their money.

    “They want to present themselves as heroes,” Darren Shuster, a developer of the dating app Phresh, told NBC 7.

    California is among the states with the highest numbers of victims which also includes Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania.

    The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command says it receives hundreds of reports from victims from around the world regarding various people impersonating U.S. Soldiers online.

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    In, 2016, almost 15,000 complaints of romance scams or confidence fraud were reported, according to the FBI.

    Not every fraud involves military identities, but the loses totaled more than $230 million dollars.

    Shuster says his platform helps to fix this problem. “The Phresh dating app would add several steps for the would-be cybercriminal from making an effort to con anybody on our app because the photos that they upload and any other information only lasts for 24 hours.”

    Shuster hopes the app can stop criminals from using dating apps to steal unsuspecting people’s money and hopes it will prevent those looking for love from becoming the next victim.