FBI: Romance scammers swindle vulnerable Florida residents out of millions

RomanceScam tip: never provide your financial information, loan money, nor allow your bank accounts to be used for transfers of funds. If you suspect your online relationship is a scam, cease all contact immediately, FBI officials urge. Skip to content. FBI Richmond suggests taking these points into consideration to avoid becoming a victim: Only use reputable, nationally-recognized dating websites; however, be aware that scammers may be using them too. Research photos and profiles in other online search tools and ask questions. Never provide your financial information, loan money, nor allow your bank accounts to be used for transfers of funds.

Anatomy of Online Dating Scams – How Not to Become a Victim of Cyber-romance

According to a new report issued by the Federal Trade Commission FTC romance-related scams are on the rise and have cost victims more in total reported losses than any other type of consumer fraud in The numbers are staggering. Romance scams involve scammers preying upon the lonely and luring them into sending money. Fraudsters target singles through online dating sites or apps i.

The fraudsters will create a phony online profile and even go so far as to lift a photo of an attractive person from the internet to use on their profile. Sometimes fraudsters will also use fake names or assume the identifies of real people.

Singles might be using online dating sites like and apps like a supervisory special agent with the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

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? In terms of cost per victim, the top three states could all buy a self-driving dual-motor AWD Tesla Cybertruck and still have some change left over to go on some fancy dates.

Love hurts, but so does losing a bunch of money to an online scam. There are many ways a catfish can try to rob you of your money, time, or effort. As a result of that belief, the victim is persuaded to send money, personal and financial information, or items of value to the perpetrator or to launder money on behalf of the perpetrator. Author – Trevor Wheelwright. He lives in Salt Lake City and enjoys photography and making music in his spare time, or you can catch him on your local dance floor bustin’ a move.

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FBI Warns Of Scam That Will Break Your Heart And Wallet

If you suspect your online relationship is a scam, cease all contact immediately. However, what is just as commonly used are social engineering tricks that manipulate the human psyche through emotions,” says Chris Morales, head of security analytics at Vectra. It has been in use for as long as people have existed.

– Be careful what you post and make public online. Scammers can use details shared on social media and dating sites to better understand and.

Scammers often target people looking for romantic partners on dating websites, apps or social media by obtaining access to their financial or personal identifying information. When students come into her office presenting a confidence fraud concern, Adler says her staff looks at each situation on a case-by-case basis. Some things the CARE Violence Prevention and Response Program advocates can help students with includes working with local law enforcement to make police reports, accompanying people to the courthouse if they want to take out charges with the magistrate, or assisting with filing for Protective Orders.

Adler recommends anyone using a social media app to know the signs for identifying a potential romance fraud. Some of the other warning signs include when a person rushes the intensity of the relationship, if they seem too good to be true, if they talk about traveling all over the world or have unusual stories about their experiences. Some additional red flags include when the other person refuses to meet the person, Skype or talk on the phone, if they ask for an address to send flowers or gifts or if they ask for money for any reason.

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FBI warns about prevalence of online romance scams

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and FBI officials are warning singles to avoid falling for a scam. Those scammers target people who are on online dating sites, they said. The FBI says bad guys are once again using online dating sites to build trust relationships with victims, then persuade them to send money or share personal and financial information. The FBI described the crime as being grossly underreported. Sarasota County is perceived as prime target, partly because of its wealth and partly because its median age is older than Investigators said victims tend to be older and often widowed or divorced.

In particular the FBI warns, threat actors “often use online dating sites to on legitimate dating apps and social media sites—scammers have.

Local Field Office Locations: www. In some cases, the victim is persuaded to launder money on behalf of the actor. Actors often use online dating sites to pose as U. IC3 receives victim reports from all age, education, and income brackets. However, the elderly, women, and those who have lost a spouse are often targeted. Victims often send money because they believe they are in a romantic relationship. For example, an actor claims to be a U.

After a few months of building a relationship with the victim, the actor asks the victim to send gifts or electronics to a foreign address. After a few more months, the actor expresses a desire to return to the U. The actor claims not to have the money to pay for travel and asks the victim to wire funds. In some cases, the actor claims the wired funds did not arrive and asks the victim to resend the money. Some actors provide a fake travel itinerary.

FBI warns people stuck at home could be more vulnerable to online romance scams

The FBI says the crime is grossly under-reported. Romance scams are just one trick fraudsters use to victimize people — predominantly older widowed or divorced — who are targeted by criminal groups from under-developed countries such as Nigeria. The victims, for the most part, are computer literate and educated but emotionally vulnerable, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which says educating the public is its best defense.

The scammers look deeply through your personal information, sometimes on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, and study your activities. Flipping through pictures of your favorite animals, dinner and friends, they learn what triggers your emotions and how you spend your money. IRS spokesman and criminal investigator Ryan Thompson says many times a scammer is just going down the phone book making cold calls.

A romance scam is when you meet someone online, they develop a relationship with you, and eventually convince you to send them money.

These kinds of scams involve scammers exploiting a victim’s emotions to gain trust and make off with their money. The warning came out on the same day developers for online dating apps said they noticed an increase in users. The day was called “Dating Sunday. So, what is the difference between online romance scams and other kinds of scams? Murugan said potential victims may not recognize the “red flags” that would give away other online scams. Murugan added that the victim may be lulled emotionally and affectionately to not notice those red flags, especially if they have been seeking a relationship.

The FBI shared a video story with News 3 that described a similar situation. The victim said she felt a “real soul connection” and that they would sing, pray and share photos with each other. Her complaint is one of the more than 1. Those stats are for overall online scams. Murugan said people may not report these scams because they may feel shame in falling victim.

For Richer Or Poorer? Romance Scams Are Leaving More Online Daters Broke

We use cookies and similar technologies to recognize your repeat visits and preferences, to measure the effectiveness of campaigns, and improve our websites. For settings and more information about cookies, view our Cookie Policy. FBI expert tells the Avast Blog about fraud related to social media and dating sites, the second-costliest type of cybercrime. What does romance fraud look like?

Tis the season for love but also romance scams, Richmond FBI warns If you are planning to meet someone in person you have met online.

KRQE — Few things can wreck the most romantic day of the year like being scammed by your would-be-lover. Local FBI Public Affairs Officer, Frank Fisher, says that the season of love is the perfect breeding ground for con artists looking to prey on both the heartstrings and purse strings, of those looking for love online. Hovering around chat rooms and social media, these fraudsters often pose as Americans working or traveling abroad, romancing their victims and coaxing them into giving them substantial amounts of money, personal information, or compromising photos before vanishing into thin air.

Using these false identities they convince their victim that true love abounds, they promise to meet in person and even propose marriage, but none of it is true. They often promise to pay the victim back, then disappear. In the case of one Texas woman who lost her whole life savings, it was her strong Christian faith that she shared publicly on Facebook, which gave one con artist the chance to take advantage of her lonely heart.

The woman told the FBI that after she friended a man who called himself Charlie on Facebook, the interaction seemed genuine. We would post things, he would like things.

FBI Warns Of Online Romance Scams


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