Scammers Target Online Daters

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Scammers in South Florida are targeting a new market niche — online daters who are prone to sexting.

On Tuesday, the Broward Sheriff’s Office warned that scammers are passing themselves off as law enforcement officers working cases of Internet crimes against children.

Officials say the scammers, posing as daters, engage the victims in conversations, eventually asking them to send sexually explicit pictures.

Once the victim does, the suspect identifies himself as a Broward Sheriff’s deputy. The suspect claims the picture was sent to a minor and tells the victim to pay a fine via Western Union or money order to avoid being arrested on a federal warrant. Victims have paid between $500 and $1,500 to meet the extortionists’ demands.

More than 100 victims have fallen for this scam since March.