Toronto (June 4, 2020) – Toronto police arrested Raymond Coles of Stoney Creek for an online dating fraud on June 2. He is accused of defrauding a woman after they met on a dating website, where he allegedly portrayed himself as a police officer, in January 2018. Toronto police charged him with Fraud Over $5,000 and Personate Peace Officer. They believe there may be more victims.
The Toronto police arrested Raymond Coles of Stoney Creek as a result of a fraud investigation, according to a press release of June 3. He is accused of conducting an online dating fraud in 2018. The police believe there may be more victims.
Online dating fraud
The police said a 38-year-old woman reported that a man contacted her through a dating website in January 2018. The man allegedly portrayed himself as a police officer. Thereafter, they started dating. Allegedly, he defrauded her for financial gains during their relationship.
In 2019, romance fraud was the second most lucrative fraud in Canada, according to the Canadian Anit-Fraud Centre (CAFC). Canadians lost about $19 million to romance scams. They received 975 complaints from 682 victims in connection to the relationship scammers. Although, only a small fraction of the victims report the crime due to the huge emotional damage and humiliation that most of the victims are left with.
Read more: Toronto man wanted for romance scams
Stoney Creek man arrested
On June 2, the Toronto police arrested Coles and transported him back to Toronto. The 49-year-old man has been charged with Fraud Over $5,000 and Personate Peace Officer. He was scheduled to appear in court on June 3.
Romance scammers often use fake profiles on social media or on popular dating apps, where they get in touch with their victims. Often, the romance rogue will convince their mark that they are in love and committed to building a serious relationship with their victim. After they gained their victim’s trust, the bogus Valentine’s make up a story with some kind of emergency and ask for money.
Read more: Romance scammers: ‘Are you falling in love, or falling victim?’
The police said that they believe there may be more victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Toronto police at 416-808-4300 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477).