A Georgia woman who joined an online dating site looking for love instead ended up losing more than $80,000, and police are looking for the man they say is responsible.
Gwinnett County police have issued a warrant for the arrest of John Martin Hill, who has been charged with felony theft by deception, Gwinnett County officials said in a news release.
A woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, told police that she connected with Hill on March 27 after joining the dating site Match.com, officials said. They met later that day for their first date and within the week, Hill, who’d told the woman that he was a millionaire, had “convinced her that they were in love and wanted to buy a house together,” officials said.
The couple quickly agreed to get married and began shopping for a house together, according to police. At that point, Hill’s alleged victim gave him more than more than $80,000 that she thought he would use to purchase the home and buy furniture to put inside, but instead, he disappeared from her life and never contacted her again.
After the situation was reported to police, investigators tracked Hill to an apartment in Duluth, where they say he lives with a woman and child.
The woman claimed to be Hill’s girlfriend, Atlanta’s WSB-TV reports.
“The woman said she is in a relationship with the suspect. However, she didn’t know what his profession was. Also, she said he was only home on weekends. During the week, she didn’t know where he went,” Cpl. Michele Pihera told the outlet.
Authorities believe that Hill, 35, has changed his name more than five times over the course of the last two and a half years, during which they say he ran similar scams on victims in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey.
Hill has yet to be taken into custody and his current location is unknown, police said.
“By sharing this story, it is our hope that he is not able to victimize any other women using this scam,” Gwinnett County Police said in a statement obtained by NBC News. “These types of con men are very good at manipulating their victims. They tend to say everything that a woman wants to hear.”
Authorities believe Hill is aware that he's a wanted man. They urge anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts to contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300, or to submit an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or visiting www.stopcrimeATL.com.
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