Tinder swindler who conned Kiwi woman out of $540k has more victims in NZ

A private investigator says the Tinder swindler who conned a Kiwi woman out of over half a million dollars has more victims in New Zealand. 

John Borland, a former policeman in Queensland, told The Project the swindler or swindlers - who used the online name Dale Plumides - were behind scams totaling over $1 million. 

Stuff reported earlier this week Joanne - not her real name - a 50-year-old single woman had been conned out of $540,000 by someone posing as Pumides online. 

The pair met on Tinder, but never in real life, and she paid him a number of amounts of money believing he was genuine. 

Plumides said he was a 58-year-old man who was based in Auckland but had an overseas construction company that was working on a project in Dubai. 

Stuff reported the scam involved him sending Joanne fake news clips of the building project and telling her his son had died of COVID-19.  

Borland was contacted by Joanne after Plumides went missing and she was concerned. 

Borland told The Project he quickly knew it was a scam. 

"The first thing that tipped me off this might be a fraudulent case was the news report from Dubai where the scammers were reporting to have built a multi-million dollar bridge. It just didn't seem right.

"A few background checks and I was able to verify the journalist in the report was fake and the person I was investigating wasn't involved in the building of the bridge."

He said his client was upset and was struggling due to the financial and emotional tool the scam had taken.  

Borland couldn't say too much about his investigation as it was current, but he said there were residents in New Zealand caught up in it and so far they had found the scammers had conned unsuspecting victims out of over a million dollars. 

He offered some advice to try and stop this from happening to other people. 

"I would tell anyone using dating apps do some research. If someone is talking to you and what they are saying is too good to be true then often it is. 

"There are a lot of sites you can go on, malescammers.com is one that is commonly used. 

"It is quite complex and you can look at the conversations posted on that site from other scams and they may relate to the conversations you are having."