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Police: Woman falls for 'romance scam,' billed hundreds of thousands for phones

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Police: Woman falls for 'romance scam,' billed hundreds of thousands for phones

By Pat Reavy, Deseret News | Posted - Aug. 23, 2018 at 1:38 p.m.

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KAYSVILLE — Kaysville police are investigating a "romance scam" that resulted in a woman being billed for hundreds of thousands of dollars of cellphones that she did not purchase, according to court documents.

The investigation began on July 25 when a woman contacted police and "reported that she was a victim of a romance scam," according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 2nd District Court. Such scams are also known as a "catphishing."

The woman said she met someone online through a dating app, the warrant states. The two communicated through email and another app.

The woman told the man that she worked for Verizon. After learning that, the man "asked her to get him deals on phones."

"The suspect told (the woman) he was a contractor for the FBI and was working on phone software and that’s why he needs the phones," the warrant states.

The man said he would pay for cellphones if the woman gave him access to her account, according to court documents.

Mulitple phones soon started showing up at the woman's home and the man provided her with shipping labels for the devices, according to the warrant. It was only later that the woman learned she was "shipping them to a shipping company who was then shipping the phones out of the country," the warrant states.

Soon, the woman found out the man had purchased between $200,000 to $500,000 worth of phones and not paid for any of them, according to the warrant.

There is no indication in the warrant that the woman and man ever met in person.

Kaysville police on Thursday confirmed it was still an active investigation that was expected to wrap up in a few weeks, but that they couldn't comment further until then.

Pat Reavy


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