Release Date: November 8, 2019

 

Most people want to report to police when they have been the victim of a fraud.  Except in the case of Romance Scams.

 

Romance Scams cost victims large sums of money and their emotional well-being. 

 

A Romance Scam starts on an online dating app.  Scammers seek out individuals (both men and women) online and initiate a relationship with them.  Scammers will spend several months, even years in relationships with individuals until they gain their trust.  Once a sense of trust has been established scammers concoct stories that play on the emotions of the victim.  Stories such as “I’ve been in a car accident and need money for the medical bill”, “I have a lot of money tied up in customs and need to pay the taxes in order to take the money and spend our lives together”, or “I want to come see you and need to buy a plane ticket, or pay immigration fees”.  Scammers frequently pretend to be military or workers off shore to justify not being able to travel and see the victim or to explain being away from online activities for days.  They also use these professions to validate the financial requests as they fit into the stories. 

 

Too often victims become intimate in their online relationship and blackmail can occur. 

 

The reality of this type of fraud is victims are embarrassed that they became vulnerable and allowed someone to take advantage of them.  These frauds do not get reported very often, but occur quite often, and in some cases can cost victims their life savings. 

 

Protect yourself.  Be aware.  Do not send money to anyone you have met online, especially if you have never seen them in person.  Before you send that money call the police and ask the questions. It’s worth the call, as it is very likely you may never see your money again.