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The man is also not alone.
Scammers lurk on dating apps and social media, striking up conversation with strangers until they build up trust to eventually ask for money. The prevalence of these types of scams has been steadily rising for the past four years.
The pandemic has only made things easier, creating legitimate reasons for scammers to hide their real motives, claiming they cannot meet in person or need money for medical treatment. Given the rampant use of social media and rise of online dating services, the opportunity for scammers to prey on individuals is only growing, explained Emma Fletcher, an analyst at the FTC. Scammers often invest months and even years into building trusting relationships with their victims. They may ask for money to pay for a plane ticket, medical expenses or debts. In some cases, victims end up cashing out their retirement funds or life savings under the assumption free sex Peoria Illinois IL are honestly helping somebody they care for and who needs help.
A cautionary tale
Like thousands of innocent consumers, Ellen Floren, a year-old woman from Chicago, thought she met a fellow neighbor off Nextdoor, an online community hub. The scammer posed as a man living in her neighborhood and she said the two began exchanging messages that Paradise NV dating ideas innocent. He was just so enamored with me.
Within four weeks, Floren began noticing red flags. The scammer asked Joliet dating us a gift card so he could watch movies for an upcoming international flight. It was at this point that Floren realized she was being scammed.
She was shocked to see how many women responded with similar experiences. According to the FTC, gift cards and wire transfers are the most free chat room of Eugene without registration used payment methods by online scammers, both of which can be difficult to track. For now, Fletcher and Nofziger of the AARP both emphasized that consumer education is the most effective method in combating online romance scams.
Consumers can report suspicious profiles at reportfraud. All rights reserved.
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Anatomy of a scam
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