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A recent study indicates that 15 percent of American adults 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 can happen like this: “Maria” signed up for an online dating service and was contacted by “Andrew,” who claimed to be an American overseas on business in Australia.
Maria and Andrew seemed to hit it off and began planning a road trip for that summer when Andrew would come back to the U. Andrew sent Maria a check for ,000 to cover the cost of their trip, but then suddenly asked her to send ,500 back to him because he needed money for rent after being laid off from his job.
Some scam artists use bogus profiles to con the people they meet out of hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Criminals who perpetrate online dating and romance scams use emotional appeals to quickly gain their victims’ trust and then, just as quickly, exploit it.
A victim may even get a call from an accomplice who claims to be a lawyer or doctor to lend credibility to the tale.Online dating and romance scams are sophisticated operations that are typically conducted by criminal gangs.Con artists share information about victims and may target victims more than once.Whether you're contacted by phone, mail, email, text, or in-person, the following tips provide advice on how to spot a scam.Seniors' Guide to Fighting Fraud This guide will inform you about the common scams aimed at seniors and the steps consumers can take to thwart the swindlers.
And don’t be ashamed to ask for help; there’s no reason to be embarrassed.