Romance Scams: Stay Safe and Avoid Financial Heartache

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This Is Where You’re Most Likely to Be Catfished in the USA in 2020

Do you have questions about your vision health? A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts.

Here are a few examples of online scams and how to stay safe online. How to Spot and Report Internet and Email Scams Romance/Online Dating Scam.

Estimated reading time is 6 minutes. Do you have suspicions that a friend or family member is involved in a romance scam? Do you ever wonder why people fall for romance scams? While this figure may seem high, this is just what gets reported; many victims never make a report due to fear or embarrassment. She found she could join groups and play games via the social media channel. This interaction was the start of what Grace thought was an exciting new romance.

Over the next 18 months, the person claiming to be Malcom James drew Grace into what she thought was a loving relationship. It was in fact a scam leading to a series of escalating requests for money. We would speak every day.

When Romance Is a Scam

Are you dating or talking online to someone who says they are a military member? Have they asked you for funds or documents? Officials and websites like Military.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 25, reports about romance scams in , a nearly threefold increase since.

A failed relationship could give you a broken heart, but it shouldn’t leave you out of pocket. Scammers are drawn to dating sites because they know that the people on there are looking to make a personal connection, and they can use this to their advantage. The catfishing from the original documentary started on Facebook , but you can also be catfished on dating apps like Tinder, in chatrooms or even through fake video chats on Skype.

If you come across a fake profile you should report it to the dating site or social network wherever possible. Where catfishing can become illegal is if the scammer uses the fake profile to trick you into sending them money. This is fraud, and it is against the law. A common tactic of dating scammers is to ask you to talk on email, text or Whatsapp, in case the dating site or app gets wise to their scam.

Online Romance: How to Protect Yourself Against Online Dating Scams

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details. Dating and romance scams may also use email to make contact and they have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction. Scammers will often create very realistic profiles online, and will share information to seem quite legitimate.

They are likely to target over 45s who are looking for relationships and are in a comfortable financial position.

Beware of online dating scams involving the military and know which resources to use to report these scams.

Dating and romance scams are very destructive — both financially and emotionally. These scams also cause significant emotional harm, with many victims reporting a break down in relationships with friends and family. With the proliferation of online dating websites, forums and social media channels, these scams are moving increasingly into the online space. Online communication channels allow scammers to operate anonymously from anywhere in the world. They can be very elaborate hoaxes, sometimes taking years to develop and run by experienced criminal syndicates.

The scammer develops a strong connection with the victim before asking for money to help cover costs associated with a supposed illness, injury, family crisis, travel costs or to pursue a business or investment opportunity. There have been reports of scammers using this material to blackmail victims.

Romance Scams

Most of the defendants are Nigerians, the Associated Press reported. Attorney Nick Hanna told a news conference. Army captain in his efforts to smuggle himself and his friends out of Syria. The woman met him online and had been emailing for 10 months.

the matter to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at

Running romance scams is a full-time job for some scammers and they can be very good at it. In reality, actual losses are likely much higher. A scammer pretends to be in a relationship with someone online in order to scam them out of money. They do this through email, social media, dating websites and other website and apps. They will have a fake backstory, family, friends and job. They may start by requesting small sums of money to test the waters, and then build up to requesting larger amounts.

In some cases the scammer may try to get the person targeted to unknowingly help launder money for their criminal activities. Some scammers are more than willing to play the waiting game. Always protect information that can be used to access your accounts, build a fake online presence or impersonate you. This includes:. Romance scammers often steal photos published online and use these identities to approach people.

Photos of models and uniformed soldiers are popular, however photos can be taken from anyone who publishes them publicly online — for example, from Facebook profiles. You may want to reverse image search using more than one image of the person. Remember this is not a fail-safe way to detect romance scams, but it is a useful tool as many scammers will take these photos offline.

Romance scams

Quickly exit this site by pressing the Escape key Escape key not available with JavaScript disabled Leave this site. Romance fraud is the engineering of a supposed friendship or relationship for fraudulent, financial gain. Fraudsters do not initially ask the victims for money; instead they spend time communicating with them online and building trust. By the time they ask for large sums of money, the reasons for requiring financial assistance have greater plausibility.

How to Spot the Signs of a Romance Scammer and Report Online Dating Scams · 1. Romance scammers profess love quickly, without actually.

So which states have the biggest problems with catfishing—and which have the least? We looked at FBI and Census data to determine your likelihood of being scammed in romance. Catfishing usually refers to online romance scams where someone uses a fake online profile to attract victims. Still, it can also come in the form of family, friends, or business relationships.

The non-western states with the highest rates of catfishing are New Hampshire, Minnesota, Florida, and Maryland. Compared to their western counterparts, people in the Midwest and South seem better clued into the catfishing scams—or perhaps the West is better about reporting?

Online dating scams – Jan’s Story