Online dating scams 2016

These criminals—who also troll social media sites and chat rooms in search of romantic victims—usually claim to be Americans traveling or working abroad. While their most common targets are women over 40 who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled, but every age group and demographic is at risk. You’re contacted online by someone who appears interested in you.He or she may have a profile you can read or a picture that is e-mailed to you."While sweetheart scammers definitely operate all year long, they are particularly noticeable at a time when everyone wants to celebrate romance.These scams are a double whammy for the victim because they are affected both fiscally and emotionally.Recognizing an Online Dating Scam Artist Your online “date” may only be interested in your money if he or she: Do not send money through any wire transfer service to someone you met online.The chances of recovering your money are very slim.Maybe the soldier needs a new cellphone so the lovers can better communicate or needs cash to get the necessary papers to go on leave so they can finally meet.

He may also send you checks to cash since he’s out of the country and can’t cash them himself, or he may ask you to forward him a package. You were targeted by criminals, probably based on personal information you uploaded on dating or social media sites.Even though Valentine's season is one of the key times to be on high alert for possible sweetheart scams, it's important to realize this is a year-round issue.The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) confirms that they receive calls from people who have been swindled by sweetheart scammers throughout the year."With Valentine's Day around the corner, we are reminded that this holiday isn't always chocolate and roses for everyone," says Eva Velasquez, president of ITRC.It's important to remember to always make financial decisions with your head and not your heart." The most important thing to do if you're a victim of a sweetheart scam is to cut off communication with your scammer immediately.And don't be ashamed to ask for help; there's no reason to be embarrassed.

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In addition to losing your money to someone who had no intention of ever visiting you, you may also have unknowingly taken part in a money laundering scheme by cashing phony checks and sending the money overseas and by shipping stolen merchandise (the forwarded package).

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