Dunlap man loses $8,000 in nude-photo ‘romance scam’

By Phil Luciano

DUNLAP — Bilked of $8,000, a Dunlap man says he was duped by an online “romance scam” involving nude photos and videos, plus promises of gold, police said.

On Sunday morning, the 54-year-old called the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office to report a grift he described as a “romance scam.” About five months ago on Instagram, he met a purported woman who sent him “multiple nude photos and videos of herself,” a sheriff’s report stated. Meanwhile, he sent her “several hundreds of dollars” to help pay her rent and everyday expenses, the report stated.

“At one point during their relationship, he was supposed to meet (the woman), but the arrangement fell through,” the report stated.

Later, she explained that she had inherited land and gold in Africa. However, for the gold to be released to them, he would have to send $3,000 to “the gold keepers,” the report said. He sent $3,000 to a man in Perryville, Mo.

“At that point, he realized he was being scammed out of his money this whole time and probably has invested over $8,000 into a fake online relationship,” the report stated.

He told police he wanted to document the scam. Meanwhile, “his wife has already contacted the Perryville Police Department,” the report stated.

A deputy told the victim not to expect to see the $8,000 again.

“I informed (him) that the chances of getting his money back are slim, and to be cautious about using social media.”