A gay man in Arizona has claimed a fake sugar daddy who he met on Grindr stole his identity – but he can’t report the fraud because of the partial government shutdown.
Dalton Tannehill, 23, was messaged in November on the popular hookup app by a man named ‘James’ who offered him a $1,000 weekly allowance.
‘Hello, I’d like to know if you will be my sugar baby,’ the supposed sugar daddy said in his initial message, offering to give Tannehill $500 twice a week.
Included in the message was a picture of a man who appears to be in his late-50s and white with salt and pepper toned blonde hair.
The Tempe resident waited until December 29 to text the man from his phone, asking James if he could help him with his $2,500 credit card bill.
The two engaged in a conversation, with James asserting that he was ‘f*****g rich’ and a ‘millionaire’ while also asking about Tannehill’s social security number and credit cards.
‘I’m gonna be taking care of all your responsibilities from now on babe,’ James claimed in messages.
James then transferred $2,480 to cover Tannehill’s bill.
‘Before the payment was processed, I was obviously suspicious … and when it processed, I felt, ‘Okay, good. This is legit. I actually have a real and legitimate sugar daddy!” Tannehill explained to Buzzfeed News.
Tannehill then followed his given instructions and applied for several credit cards.
‘I felt he did me this favor — I might as well spend at least $1,000 to be paid back again. No worries, I assumed, since the payment went through the first time,’ he added.
Next, Tannehill spent $1,000 on Google Play Store gift cards on Walmart. But James grew increasingly agitated and demanded that his new sugar baby buy more gift cards.
The young man wasn’t responding fast enough to the messages and the next day, James blocked him on all forms of communication. The money was retracted a few days later.
‘I just realized I needed to block him and cut off all communication, and report this as soon as I possibly could, whenever this shutdown ends, or any other way,’ Tannehill explained.
He was also contacted someone claiming to be James’ account manager when he was informed that the payment was reversed.
Tannehill rushed to contact his bank and attempted to make a report with the Federal Trade Commission. But because of the partial government shutdown, he wasn’t able to get any help.
‘Hey @realDonaldTrump some weirdo in Texas has my social security number right now but thanks to your government shutdown I’m unable to file a fraud and identity theft report. Some assistance would be much appreciated,’ he said in a Monday tweet.
Identity theft is the second-most-reported consumer complaint in 2017, with 14 percent of complaints geared toward the issue, according to the FTC. Credit card fraud was the most common type of identity theft that was reported by consumers.
The FTC websites list two places that victims of identity theft can go to report their greivances: IdentityTheft.gov and FTC.gov/complaint.
Both pages are currently shut down as the government goes into its 21st day.
Tannehill isn’t a singular case in the latest round of identity theft. Others took to their social media to also voice their disappointment in being unable to get assistance in handling identity thefts.
‘Somebody tryna steal my identity and the government shutdown so I cant report it to identity theft,’ claimed @Jayveteran.
Ben Cohen added: ‘It’s cool my identity was stolen and because the government is shut down I can’t access any of the tools at http://identitytheft.gov , it’s great.’
The sentiment was shared by Jess, who said: ‘Hey @realDonaldTrump thanks to your f ing government shutdown I cannot report my identity theft to the feds & I have to wait & see what else this asshole will use my information for. Thanks for nothing you joke of a president. #bringbackbarack #notmypresident.’
Tannehill would share updates to his whole ordeal, including snaps from his Instagram where James appeared to have found him. James Edward, as he was called on his profile, called the man a ‘thief.’
The James Edward Instagram profile was private.