Woman Says Online Romeo Scammed Her Out of $80,000 and Proposed After 1 Week — and She's Not Alone

Love hurts.

It can also cost a bundle.

Just ask the Georgia woman who met an online Romeo who allegedly swindled her out of more than $80,000 after asking her to marry him just a week after they met.

On Tuesday night, police in Franklin, Tennessee, arrested the man, John Martin Hill, 35, on an outstanding warrant in connection with the alleged theft, the Gwinnett County, Georgia, Police Department says in a news release obtained by PEOPLE.

Hill is being held at the Williamson County Jail in Tennessee on a $500,000 bond and is awaiting extradition to Georgia, where he faces a felony charge of with theft by deception, the Gwinnett County Police Department says in the release.

“By sharing this story, it is our hope that he is not able to victimize any other women using this scam,” police say in the release. “These types of con men are very good at manipulating their victims. They tend to say everything that a woman wants to hear.”

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In this case, the alleged scam came to light when a woman from Alpharetta called the Gwinnett County Police Department to report that she met a man named John Hill on Match.com who bilked her out of more than $80,000.

Hill allegedly told the victim that he was a millionaire — and promised more.

“During their short romance, he convinced her that they were in love and wanted to buy a house together,” police allege in the release.

They allegedly went house-hunting and selected a home they liked. Within a week of knowing one another, they allegedly agreed to get married.

Preparing for her new life with Hill, the woman allegedly gave the suspect more than $80,000 to use to buy the house and furniture, say police.

She never heard from him again.

As authorities began looking into the case, they discovered that Hill was allegedly living a completely different life than the one he led the woman to believe.

Hill, one of the detectives learned, lives an apartment in Duluth — about 11 miles away from Alpharetta — with another woman and child.

Acting on a tip Tuesday night, police in Tennessee  arrested Hill — considered a fugitive out of Georgia — at the Cool Springs Marriott, Frankllin Police say in a news release.

Before he was ultimately arrested, Hill allegedly “attempted to evade arriving Franklin Police Officers by darting into a hotel conference room and hiding under a table,” the release says.

Suspect Allegedly Wooed Other Women

The Alpharetta woman wasn’t the only woman Hill had allegedly swept off her feet and scammed, police learned.

“Further investigation into John Hill revealed that he has changed his name over five times in the past two and a half years,” police say in the release, adding that women in  Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey have accused him of similar crimes.

It is not known if he has been charged in those cases.

Since authorities first alerted the public to Hill’s alleged scam, they say they’ve heard from other women who allege that they were either in a relationship with Hill or knew someone who was romantically involved with him, the release says.

It is unclear if Hill has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf. He has not yet entered a plea.

The department cautions people who meet others online to be careful not to share personal information, financial information, or cash with someone in the early stages of a relationship.

Anyone with information on Hill is asked to contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300.  To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.stopcrimeATL.com.


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