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Money

The www.FedPrimeRate.com Personal Finance Blog and Magazine

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Romance Scams

Romance Scams
Romance Scams
How can a woman willingly drain her life saving down to nothing, and send huge sums of cash to someone she has never met in real life?

It's easy to just dismiss these women as stupid, but it's not that simple.

Loneliness is a very negative and very powerful force.   It's a lot like alcohol, in that too much of it can make a smart and reasonable person do very stupid things.

It's nice to come across a story in the news about a romance scammer getting caught and punished.  But catching these predators is the exception, not the rule.  I think the global law enforcement community can do a lot better...

From this Federal Trade Commission article:

"...People looking for romance are hoping to be swept off their feet, not caught up in a scam. But tens of thousands of reports in Consumer Sentinel show that a scam is what many people find. In 2018, Sentinel had more than 21,000 reports about romance scams, and people reported losing a total of $143 million – that’s more than any other consumer fraud type identified in Sentinel.1 These reports are rising steadily. In 2015, by comparison, people filed 8,500 Sentinel reports with dollar losses of $33 million...

...Once these fraudsters have people by the heartstrings, they say they need money, often for a medical emergency or some other misfortune. They often claim to be in the military and stationed abroad, which explains why they can’t meet in person. Pretending to need help with travel costs for a long-awaited visit is another common ruse...

Scammers can reap large rewards for time spent courting their targets. The median individual loss to a romance scam reported in 2018 was $2,600, about seven times higher than the median loss across all other fraud types.2 People often reported sending money repeatedly for one supposed crisis after another...


...Help stop these scammers by reporting suspicious profiles or messages to the dating or social media site. Then, tell the FTC at www.FTCComplaintAssistant.gov..."

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