Nigeria scams and dating websites
The romance scam has ballooned in recent years, according to Laura Eimiller, communications director for the FBI in Los Angeles.
In 2016, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received close to 15,000 reports of “romance scams,” amounting to more than 0 million in losses.
“There can’t be a man this horrible, to do what he did to me,” she told FBI investigators.
This heartache – and financial ruin – is all too common in romance scams, according to the FBI.
The man she fell in love with was a contractor named “Charlie,” who shared her Christian faith. Recounting the story in a recent report on romance scams, the bureau notes that the woman still clings to a faint hope that Charlie will pay her back, that he really did love her.
He was very positive, and I felt a real connection there.” As the romance progressed, Charlie confessed to some problems of his own.
In addition, don’t give anyone access to your bank account information so they can “store” money there.
And beware of anyone who asks you to mail packages on his or her behalf: You might find yourself implicated in a criminal operation. Once you realize you’re dealing with a fraudster, cut off all contact. Ask that packages not be delivered to your home or work.
The problem with the romance scam is that the scammers take on other, more ordinary identities: businessman, contractor, soldier.Once money is wired overseas, it is virtually impossible to recover, according to Eimiller. (Insurance policies don’t cover such scams.) Do not believe the scammer’s promises that you will be repaid, she says.“If someone is asking for money or professing their love to you before you’ve even met them, that should suggest this may be fraud,” says Eimiller.Other common red flags, she says, include a suitor who can’t meet you because he is supposedly working overseas, Do not send money to anyone you don’t know personally.