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Entries in Online Dating (2)

Friday
Feb222013

Indiana Man Dubbed ‘Internet Casanova’ to Face Charges

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The man dubbed the “Internet Casanova” for breaking hearts online is now facing charges for not just stealing women’s hearts but also their money.

Authorities allege that Ray Holycross, 29, who also went by the names Ray Cross and Ray Tompson, scammed and robbed more than 38 women in at least seven states.

Holycross, of Plymouth, Ind., will be arraigned on Friday in an Indiana courtroom on one charge of theft, accused of stealing the camera of Theresa Bridegroom, a woman from Mishawaka, Ind., according to ABC News affiliate RTV6.

Police say Holycross spent years logging onto dating websites to meet women before moving in with them and then stealing from them.

Bridegroom, 35, began dating Holycross in September.  Police arrested him at the apartment they shared on Tuesday after Bridegroom discovered he pawned her camera and turned him in, RTV6 reports.

Holycross is also wanted in Oregon on two counts stemming from an identity theft charge.

“I think he relies on girls that he meets on the Internet to provide him with what he needs to get through life,” Lt. Michael Budreau of the Medford Police Department in Oregon told ABC's Good Morning America in August as the first reports of his alleged fraud emerged.

Jennifer Clark told GMA in August that she met Holycross on the online dating site PlentyofFish.com.  She was smitten, she said, and the two quickly moved in together.

“We lived together in my house,” she said.  “I decided I wanted to help him.”

Clark told GMA that Holycross convinced her to sell her home and her car and promised to move to Chicago with her.  Instead, he took her laptop and iPhone, withdrew nearly $1,000 from her bank account, and then vanished, she said.

“He made me feel like he was going to take care of me and, instead, I was left with absolutely nothing,” Clark said.

Many of the women who met Holycross online told a similar story.  They said he is an online charmer who took off with their cash once they let him into their lives and homes.

ABC News has also learned of allegations against Holycross from male victims, who claim he swindled them out of money and other possessions.

Even his own brother refused to defend him.

“He digs holes, gets into lies and it’s just a non-stop thing,” David Holycross said.  “My heart goes out to all the victims.  And if anyone has the opportunity to avoid my brother after seeing this, do so.”

Attempts to reach Ray Holycross were unsuccessful.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun132012

Teen Flirting App Linked to Rapes

Goodshoot RF/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Skout, a popular mobile flirting application, has suspended its service for teenagers after it was linked to three sexual assaults in recent weeks, causing developers to re-evaluate its security measures.

The separate sexual assaults involved two girls, ages 12 and 15, and a 13-year-old boy. All were allegedly victimized by adults posing as teens.

"For now, we believe that there's only one thing we can do: until we can design better protections, we are temporarily shutting down the under-18 community," founder and CEO Christian Wiklund said in a statement posted on the company's blog.

The mobile networking app, which was originally intended for adults, launched an offshoot for teens last year after developers realized teens were using the adult version.

Despite the additional security measures the teen version touted, the application has shown it needs more safety controlls, Wiklund said, adding that he takes the assaults very seriously.

His team is "working around the clock to build better safeguards," including an age verification system, he said.

"We will not compromise the safety of our community, and right now, our concerns are too significant to simply stand by and do nothing," Wiklund said in his blog post.

The social networking app, which works on iPhones and Android devices, claims it is one of the largest mobile networks for meeting new people.

In April of 2012, Skout secured $22 million in funding from the powerhouse tech venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, whose clients include Foursquare and Air BnB.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio