Okeechobee woman is a victim of fraud

An Okeechobee woman was recently a victim of fraud after she began using a dating website called “Seeking Arrangements,” and began texting a man calling himself Ray Lauren. According to the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office report, Lauren told the woman he was from California but currently visiting London. The woman reportedly gave Lauren her Social Security number, bank account number and routing number. In addition, she opened several bank accounts in his name. She said he sent $1,950 via mobile banking to be deposited into an account but then almost immediately said he needed $1,450 back. The woman said she agreed to get the money to him by purchasing Google Play and Steam gift cards and sending him the codes off the backs. Unfortunately, by the time she realized his deposit was no good, she had already given him that information, and now she owes the bank $1,450.

When she messaged him to tell him the deposit did not clear, he allegedly told her she had been scammed. Because she had never met him in person or spoken to him but had only communicated through text, the case is inactive until further evidence is uncovered.

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

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