Saanich police have arrested a man that used dating apps to swindle nearly $200,000 over three years.
In the fall of 2019, police began investigating a romance scam that saw a man use various dating apps to connect with people with the intent to obtain money.
Police say the suspect, 29-year-old Brodie Brooks would ask individuals to provide him with financial assistance while promising to pay them back. Brooks would then limit contact with the victims once they asked to be repaid.
Brooks continued the scheme over the next three years.
On June 19, 2023, Brooks was arrested on 16 charges including fraud over $5,000, false pretense, fraud under $5,000, and impersonating a peace officer.
“This person was highly manipulative and deceptive in his scheme,” said Cst Markus Anastasiades. “While each case is unique, we encourage people never to send money to anyone they have only communicated with online or by phone.”
If you have any information related to this investigation, please contact Saanich Police’s Major Crime Unit at [email protected].
Additional tips regarding romance scams
- Never under any circumstance send money for any reason. The scammer will make it seem like an emergency, they may even express distress or anger to make you feel guilty but DO NOT send money and end the conversation.
- To gain your money, they may say their funds are locked, they were in an accident, they have medical bills, have to pay government fees, have to pay a lawyer, have to pay their outstanding mortgage.
- Notify the dating website or social media site where you met the scammer. Scammers usually have more than one account.
- Do not share personal birthdate, address or financial information with anyone you’ve only just met online or in person.
- Never send intimate photos or videos of yourself. The scammer may try to use these to blackmail you into sending money.
- Be proactive; tell family, friends, co-workers, and neighbours about your experience to warn them about romance scams.