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Woman's Intuition Saves Her From Sweetheart Scam

DENVER (CBS4) - She could have become the next victim of a scam that's bilked Coloradans out of tens of thousands of dollars, but some simple research helped her trip up a man preying on women through an online dating site.

CBS4 has recently reported on two victims who say they were scammed by people on dating sites like Christian Mingle. They ended up wiring money to places like Malaysia. Those women lost thousands of dollars, but a third woman says there were just too many red flags.

For Rita Garcia, sending $6,000 to a man who called himself Grant Alberto was not an option.

"He's supposedly is a petroleum engineer but yet he's asking me for money," Garcia said.

She met the man first on Facebook but he told her he'd tracked her down through the dating site Christian Mingle. Garcia had been a member for a few months.

"He was a Christian and he was everything that I was looking for," she said.

CBS4's Valerie Castro recently spoke to another woman who met a similar man named Alexander Bill on the same website.

"Seemed to be a Christian man," the woman said.

Grant Alberto
An image of Grant Alberto (credit: CBS)

The details of each man's life sounded very familiar.

"That his wife died in a tragic car accident in 2009 and that he has a teenage daughter," Garcia said.

"He was a widow, is what he said," the other woman said.

Garcia says the request for money to be wired to him was the red flag

"That's when I really knew it was all a scam," she said.

Alexander Bill
An image of "Alexander Bill" (credit: CBS)

A coworker even used the IP address from the emails sent to Garcia to track down the location of Alberto's computer.

"She called me at 10 p.m. last night and told me, 'Rita, he's from Nigeria.' She said that IP address is coming from Nigeria and it's black listed."

While Garcia never sent any cash, she isn't surprised others have.

"It just breaks my heart, really, because you know people don't have that kind of money to be sending to somebody else," she said. "Follow your intuition because my intuition kept telling me it's not right. Follow your intuition and not your heart."

There are several websites online like one called Sites like that will help users find and trace an IP address from an email. That's where a computer is connecting to the Internet. It could help people figure out if the person they're exchanging emails with is really who they say they are and where they are.

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