Gwinnett County Police

Con Man's Scam Spree Ends After Romancing Woman And Scamming Her Out Of $80K

Is there any more satisfying feeling than getting a life-destroying criminal off the streets? If so, I want to know what that feeling is, because dang if justice isn't an amazing feeling.

And if it seems like we don't hear about terrible people getting caught often enough, here's one more.

John Martin Hill thought he was pretty clever.

Facebook | Gwinnett County Police

And, for quite some time, he was. In fact, investigators are still combing through the wreckage this 35-year-old has left in his wake over the past few years.

But, thankfully, after his most recent scam, this alleged con artist is in police custody.

Things started to fall apart for Hill thanks to the actions of his most recent victim in Georgia.

Unsplash | Jamie Street

As Gwinnett County police reported, Hill met his victim through

Obviously an experienced and fast worker, Hill convinced the woman to meet up with him the same day they connected on the dating site.

Things progressed quickly from there.

Gwinnett County Police

Telling the woman he was a millionaire, Hill soon had her entranced.

"During their short romance, he convinced her that they were in love and wanted to buy a house together," police reported. "They went house-hunting and selected a home they were interested in."

That's when the big ask came in.

Unsplash | Jessica Furtney

To help with the home purchase (not pictured), the woman forked over $80,000. As soon as he got the money, he cut off contact with her altogether.

While many scam victims don't come forward, she called the police, who started an investigation.

After putting out a public call for help, a tip led police to an arrest.

Franklin Police

By that point, Hill had fled to Tennessee, but police in Franklin tracked him down to a hotel room.

He still tried to evade capture, hiding under a table in one of the hotel's conference rooms, but police surrounded him and took him into custody.

While investigators were looking into Hill, they started hearing from other women with similar stories.

It turned out that he had an apartment with another woman and a child in Duluth, Georgia, and there were many other women he had allegedly victimized.

Investigators found that "he has changed his name over five times in the past two and a half years. He is accused of committing similar crimes in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey."

Naturally, officials are thankful that the one victim came forward and are taking the opportunity to warn others.

Unsplash | Jefferson Santos

"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. "These types of con men are very good at manipulating their victims. They tend to say everything that a woman wants to hear."

Romance scams are far from uncommon.

In fact, according to the FTC, romance scams have cost Americans more than any other type of consumer fraud — as much as $143 million over 21,000 reported scams in 2018 alone.

While many of those start on dating apps, as happened in this case, social media sites in general are also popular starting points for romance scams.