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.Fraudsters may also use the conversations you have to find out enough personal information about you to commit identity fraud.
It can happen like this: “Maria” signed up for an online dating service and was contacted by “Andrew,” who claimed to be an American overseas on business in Australia.Maria and Andrew seemed to hit it off and began planning a road trip for that summer when Andrew would come back to the U. Andrew sent Maria a check for ,000 to cover the cost of their trip, but then suddenly asked her to send ,500 back to him because he needed money for rent after being laid off from his job.Navigating the world of Internet dating can be an exciting and fun way to meet potential partners.However, you might quickly discover that some things are not what they seem on certain sites and profiles.All dating websites will ask for a certain amount of information in order to match you successfully with people who will hold your interest.
However, this information will generally be limited to personality details and interests rather than financial information or anything that might be useful to someone wishing to steal your identity.
Upon finding victims, scammers lure them to more private means of communication, (such as providing an e-mail address) to allow for fraud to occur.
The fraud typically involves the scammer acting as if they've quickly fallen for the victim so that when they have the opportunity to ask for money, the victim at that time has become too emotionally involved, and will have deep feelings of guilt if they decline the request for money from the scammer.
Alternatively they may prey on your sympathies, telling you a family member or someone else they are responsible for is ill and they need money for medical treatment.
Once you send them money, the fraudsters will keep coming back and invent new reasons to send them more.
Victims can be highly traumatized by this and are often very embarrassed and ashamed when they learn they have become a victim of a scam and that the romance was a farce.