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This leaves many victims not only embarrassed but also in financial distress.
It is important for online users to be on the look-out for online dating and romance scams.
Once the victim becomes attached, the scammer looks for ways to dupe the person into sending money, which can happen in two basic ways.
In the first scenario, the scammer may indirectly ask for money.
Con artists may express their “love” quickly and effusively, find similarities with the victim, and claim the online match was destiny.
This is all a build-up for the scam artist’s real goal: conning a victim out of money.
Some scam artists use bogus profiles to con the people they meet out of hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Criminals who perpetrate online dating and romance scams use emotional appeals to quickly gain their victims’ trust and then, just as quickly, exploit it.
Once a person wires money to a foreign country, the money is generally unrecoverable.
Some scammers induce victims to share personal information or images and then threaten to post or distribute them to the friends, family members, and employers if the victim refuses to pay.
The Attorney General’s Office encourages people to exercise an appropriate level of caution when looking for a relationship online and to be careful about sharing personal information and photos with people they have never met.
Online dating fraud in the UK cost victims a heart-breaking £27 million last year, according to the latest stats from the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Get Safe Online .
Over 2,700 online dating related crimes were reported to the police over 12 months with the average loss standing at £10,000.