A Saugus man has been using an online dating service to appeal to women, claiming to be a high demand chef, a military special forces agent, and other government or elaborate and exotic professions, and then taking them for money, credit and property.
According to the L.A. Sheriffs in Santa Clarita Valley, Jeffery Elvington, a 39-year-old Saugus resident, was initially arrested on Valentines Day, February 14th, on burglary charges. At the time, five victims had been identified, and detectives believed there may have been many more over the previous two years.
He was reported to meet women through sites like Match.com, and once in close contact, he would steal credit card numbers to purchase high end electronics, which he would then sell. He also took the opportunity to steal personal property, such as jewelry, from his dates.
The Sheriff’s detectives appealed to the public at that time to try to identify other victims of the online Lothario, but he was released after serving part of his one year sentence, and is on three year probation. Another victim did come forward with a similar story, which resulted in his most recent arrest on June 4th. However he was released pending further investigation and filing considerations.
Detectives, however, say he appears to be continuing his efforts to gain the trust of women with the intent to scam them. The FBI has posted warnings to people using online dating services to help avoid being victimized by scam artists. Divorced, widowed, or disabled women over 40 are common targets, though anyone may be at risk. The scammers usually try to gain trust and affection, and eventually ask for money, often so they can travel to visit their victim. Elvington’s plan was more brazen, though more risky for him. By actually meeting his connections, he found an easier path to their money, but put himself at risk, as his two arrests now show.
The Sheriff’s detectives, looking to strengthen their latest case, are asking anyone who may have had contact with Elvington to contact Detective Elsee at 661-255-1121 (ref-07612). Most of his known victims are from the Santa Clarita Valley area.