I spoke with a woman recently who told me how she is cultivating multiple online romances. She had met them all either through dating or social media websites. Some of her suitors are in other countries, and a few had recently asked her to send them money.
This is when she decided to call us: she told me that some of her online beaus had sent her gifts and promised to arrange face-to-face visits in the near future. But when more than one of them shared stories of personal tragedy and asked her to help by wire transferring hundreds of dollars, she became worried that it wasn’t just a coincidence.
We have written here before about these kinds of schemes via online dating sites. (See Related Posts.) But the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) wants us to know the threat is still very real. Just last month they issued a press release. Here’s what they know:
- Schemers use a well-rehearsed and successful script to target unsuspecting individuals on dating or social media sites.
- Although all are at risk, most victims are 40+ years old and divorced, widowed, elderly, or disabled.
- Schemers use gifts to add legitimacy to the courtship and prey on emotions with stories about tragedy, for instance.
- Victims who have agreed to meet in person with an online love interest have been reported missing, or injured, or in one instance, deceased.
If you still have questions, read the IC3 press release and read our Related Posts: