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It all starts when a bad actor dupes a victim into a trusting relationship, then exploits that to get money, goods, or sensitive financial information.The bad guys often use online dating sites to pose as US citizens abroad or US military members deployed overseas or American business owners who have sizeable investments, the FBI said. While in 2017 more than 15,000 people filed complaints with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) saying they were victims of confidence/romance fraud with reported losses of 1 million, in 2018, the number of victims jumped to more than 18,000, with more than 2 million in losses, an increase of more than 70 percent over the previous year, according to the FBI. alone lost over 0 million, and that is just reported cases.Widows and divorced women are the most common target due to the fact that they are often lonely and emotionally vulnerable.Perhaps they claim to be British and write everything in American English or vice versa.A lot of these scammers do not, in fact, have English as a first language. Scammers tend to pose in the mid-40s if male or low 30s if female, with men claiming to be engineers and women students.Rather than simply sending phishing emails, cybercriminals are playing the long game to cheat people out of their money.If you are using an online dating platform, make sure to look out for these signs that the person you’re talking to is actually a scammer—and how to avoid online dating scams in general.
Is there an associated Facebook profile, and if so is it under the same name?The scammers steal their profile pictures from other people, and somebody may find their picture, or even their entire identity, is being used in a romance scam.Although they have a white picture and name, their English is poor, or their word choice is strange.Report the activity to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, your local FBI field office, or both.
Once trust has been established, the thief will tell the mark they need money, perhaps to meet them, to help a sick relative, to deal with a work crisis, etc. Seniors are more likely to be targeted than younger individuals.One victim ended up filing for bankruptcy after she was left ,000 in debt.