Sweetheart scammers are con artists who prey on lonely people by pretending to fall in love with them in order to win their trust and steal their money.
Spotting Discrepancies Reading or Listening Between the Lines Beware Speed Community Q&A Online dating scams are rife. You do not have to be rich and you do not have to be stupid.
You just have to be looking for love, a search that causes you to be more vulnerable than usual.
Caution: Never send money, give personal information or bank details to a person you have never met.
Think: Always consider your personal safety if you arrange to meet someone through a dating website.
In 2015, the last year for which data is available, consumers lost more than $200 million this way.
(It is estimated that only 15 percent of fraud victims report their losses to law enforcement, so the real numbers are probably higher.) As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about. “Most people think the victims are middle-aged women who can't get a date, but I have worked with men and women of all ages—doctors and lawyers, CEOs of companies, people from the entertainment industry—who you’d never think in a million years would fall for these scams but do,” says Barb Sluppick, who runs romancescams.org, a watchdog site and online support group.
While the case was remarkable for its magnitude, when it comes to so-called “romance scams,” it still represents just the tip of the iceberg.
According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud.
Usually these scammers are pretending to be someone they’re not, using photos and identities of people they’ve found online.
We’ve had cases of romance scams reported to us where people have lost substantial amounts of money – ranging from a few hundred dollars, through to more than million.
She wants me to send money to buy one via her money transfer account.