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A Toronto man allegedly used online dating services to meet single women — some of them senior citizens — and scam them out of $1.5 million, Toronto Police said Monday.
The 49-year-old man typically pretended to be a businessman or a venture capitalist as he targetted women across the country, police alleged.
“The investigation was initiated when a widowed senior from Vancouver complained she was bilked of her life savings, forced to sell her home and live in a rented apartment,” police said.
Few details were released about how the accused managed to convince the women to hand over their money but six victims have been identified so far.
And fraud investigators believe there may be more.
“We’re asking anyone who has been victimized by this man, who hasn’t reported it yet, to come forward now and tell us about it,” Const. Tony Vella said.
Two of the alleged victims who have been identified so far claim to have been engaged to Sanmugam, police said.
And the parents of those two women are also victims.
Investigators haven’t specified what dating websites the accused allegedly used to reel in his prey but police said he has been known to travel across Canada to Halifax, Montreal, and the Vancouver area.
Arvind Kumar Sanmugam is charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 and one count each of failing to comply, revocation of bail and breach of trust.
He was scheduled to appear in a College Park courtroom Monday afternoon.
Anyone with information is urged to call detectives in the Fraud Unit at 416−808−7303, or Crime Stoppers at 416−222−TIPS.