Internet dating scams happen

The scammer might say that an immediate family member has a medical emergency and needs money for treatment, or that he has been wrongly arrested and needs help with bail money and legal support.“There was one woman who got scammed for over a million dollars, her whole retirement nest egg,” Farquhar says.The CR survey found that 35 percent of respondents who’ve tried online dating felt they had been grossly misled by someone’s online profile, and 12 percent said they’d been scammed.Experts say online daters are always wise to be skeptical regarding what someone they’ve met online, and not in the flesh, tells them.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.

Finally, the FBI advises not to send money through any wire transfer service to someone you met online.In 2016, the last year for which data is available, consumers lost more than 0 million this way.(The FBI says it may be embarrassing for victims to report this type of fraud scheme because of the personal relationships that are developed, so the real numbers are probably higher.) As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about. “Most people think the victims are middle-aged women who can’t get a date, but I have worked with men and women of all ages—doctors and lawyers, CEOs of companies, people from the entertainment industry—who you’d never think in a million years would fall for these scams but do,” says Barb Sluppick, who runs Romance Scams, a watchdog site and online support group.The pictures you were sent were most likely phony lifted from other websites.The profiles were fake as well, carefully crafted to match your interests.

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