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However, be forewarned: the online contact could be a criminal sitting in a cyber café with a well-rehearsed script that scammers have used repeatedly and successfully.Scammers search chat rooms, dating sites, and social networking sites looking for victims.File a complaint with an appropriate agency, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), the Federal Trade Commission, or your state's Attorney General's Office. A victim can suffer financial losses and mental anguish, as well as grow distrustful or suspicious of others.What's more, the victim often won't be able to take comfort in the knowledge that the perpetrator will be brought to justice.Furthermore, there is an indication that ‘romance scammers’ have now moved on to committing online bank fraud, which may lead to potential victims being unknowing participants in the crime of money laundering.The Federal Trade Commission has also noted that the average amount victims were defrauded out of exceeds one hundred thousand dollars.The scammer will exhibit strong emotions, often instantaneously, and attempt to beguile you.
The widow's story is a classic case of a romance scam. But this is just the tip of the iceberg, as romance scams are grossly underreported.Red Flags to Watch Out For Red flags that your so-called "match" could be a romance scammer include the following: Taking It Offline.Your match presses you to leave the dating site and persuades you to communicate via personal email or instant messaging. Because scammers know that online dating sites are able to surveil members and oust those who display questionable behavior or attempt to commit a scam. Not getting caught is important to the scammer, as he or she will want to "troll" the site again for fresh victims when he or she is done with you. Your match gives every appearance of living high on the hog--profile pictures of mansions, luxury cars, exotic destinations, and so on, yet persuades you to loan him or her money.published a disturbing story about a 53-year-old California grandmother and widow who had gotten swept up in one of the oldest cons in the book: the sweetheart swindle. In no time at all, she received a message from a man going by the name of John, who claimed to be a 60-year-old widowed engineer from Colorado. He showered her with compliments, charmed her, and declared that she was "the one." Months later, John said that he had to make a business trip to Africa.He was rocked by a series of emergencies soon after.To resolve these emergencies, John asked for financial help from the widow.The widow finally insisted that John reveal himself on a webcam.Once an almost unheard-of phenomenon, online dating is today a go-to resource for many busy, career-oriented individuals for finding their true love and future partners.While many succeed in finding their loved ones using this relatively new medium, many become victims to what is known as ‘romance’ or ‘sweetheart’ scams.In an earlier blog post entitled "7 Unromantic Facts About Online Dating," we looked at the growing phenomenon of online dating as a modern approach to dating and mating. "Catfishing" A romance scam, often called "catfishing," is a special breed of fraud where the con artist fakes romantic interest in his or her mark (victim), wins his or her affection, and then abuses that amity to perpetrate a fraud.Increasingly, these scammers are hitting online dating sites, social networking sites, and chat rooms to troll for victims. Phil Mc Graw, popular mental health expert and host of daytime talk show , it's hard to tell whether you're getting hooked on a catfish.