“That big investment gives victims a false sense that the relationship must be real.” Eventually a pitch for money comes.
Often the scammer will say an emergency situation has arisen and money is needed fast to avoid dire consequences.
Victims think they’re just helping out their soulmate, never realizing they’re aiding and abetting a crime.
After they form a “relationship,” they come up with reasons to ask their love interest to set up a new bank account.
The scammers transfer stolen money into the new account, and then tell their victims to wire the money out of the country.
A recent study indicates that up to 10 percent of Americans use online dating websites or mobile applications.
As the number of people looking to meet new people online grows, so does the opportunity for fraud.
(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.
According to the Consumer Reports 2016 Online Dating Survey of more than 114,000 subscribers, among the respondents who were considering online dating but were hesitant, 46 percent said they were concerned about being scammed. “Typically the scammer builds trust by writing long letters over weeks or months and crafting a whole persona for their victims,” says Unit Chief David Farquhar from the Financial Crimes Section of the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) who specializes in cyber-related crimes.
"But I hung on and kept communicating because I wanted to see the end of the movie." The ending came as no surprise to experts on romance scams.
Morrison's erstwhile Romeo claimed he needed her to "lend" him ,000 to deal with one of the many crises he had fabricated.
Maria deposited the check and sent the money, but was soon contacted by her bank, which told her the check was bad and she had to repay the ,500.
On top of losing her money, the fake “Andrew” disappeared, and Maria never heard from him again. The scammer may use photos from magazines and portray himself or herself as talented and successful. citizen working or serving abroad, or give a similar excuse to explain their inability to meet in person.
Some scam artists use bogus profiles to con the people they meet out of hundreds or thousands of dollars.