Middle-aged man charged with extortion following online dating scam

Police have once again warned of the dangers of online dating, saying scammers always lurk in this realm.

This after a 54-year-old man appeared at the Alexandra regional court on Monday on charges of extortion that involved allegations of an online dating scam. The accused was arrested on Saturday by the Hawks.

Chinedu Jonathan Madueke had posed as a female model on social media and demanded about $500 000 (R7.9-million) from a man to avoid his nude video from being leaked.

In a statement, the police cautioned members of the public about online romance scams.

Safety tips to keep in mind:

Always approach any new online acquaintance with caution. Verify their profile picture. Simply perform a reverse image search to check that the picture being used wasn’t taken from someone else’s profile. Google has a quick guide on how to do this.

Don’t share personal information without giving it a second thought. Once the scammers have won your trust, they will start to ask for money. They usually start with small amounts, slowly coaxing you into paying larger amounts as things progress.

Never send nude pictures! Scammers use this to extort money from their victims by threatening to expose you on social media/the internet.

If you have any doubts about the person you’re communicating with, end the conversation immediately.

Report the scammer’s profile to the social site as soon as possible, then block the scammer.

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