Dating site scam victim fleeced out of €1.7 million; Eight family members arrested
The police arrested a total of eight Utrecht people suspected of involvement in a major fraud case. According to the police, this family scammed a man out of 1.7 million euros after luring him into the family with a 17-year-old girl. He met the girl on a dating site and was promised he could marry her, the police said on Wednesday.
According to the police, the man met the 17-year-old on a dating site in 2019. He was soon absorbed into her family, who promised that he could marry her as soon as she came of age. The man spent nine months with the family, also living with them for periods. During that time, he was increasingly asked to pay for things, including the intended marriage. Over time the requests turned to demands, threats, and extortion. The man was also assaulted, the police said.
"As the threats of violence worsened, the victim managed to break free from the family and reported their fraud and extortion," the police said. By that time, he had already lost 1.7 million euros in money and goods, including gold bars he bought when he stayed with the family.
The police launched an investigation. Just before this year's summer, the investigation led them to several homes on Waalstraat and Melissekade in Utrecht. On June 28, the police raided these homes, seizing expensive Rolex watches and administration.
The police arrested eight suspects over the past months, the latest of which was arrested on Monday. The suspects are between the ages of 19 and 44 years, and all are related to each other. Two, a 43-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman, are still in pretrial custody. They're facing charges of fraud and extortion.