Scammers play on emotions and by invoking fear, anxiety or hope, they convince people to fall for cons they wouldn't rationally consider. Since there are few emotions stronger than love, romance scams are particularly lucrative. Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns about an online dating scam stealing not only hearts, but also cash.
How the Scam Works:
Consumers sign up for an online dating site. Later, they receive a message from someone (usually a man contacting a woman) claiming to work abroad or stationed overseas serving in the military.
After exchanging a message or two through the dating website, the other person requests to communicate through email or a chat service and the exchange of emails and photos begins, including becoming friends on Facebook. (See fake account below)
Soon, the two are communicating daily. The new love interest says they want to use their upcoming leave to visit. There's just one problem, they don’t have money for the trip and ask to borrow some; you agree. After sending the cash, the new sweetheart suddenly stops communicating. (Or maybe sticks around long enough to ask for another loan.)
Tips to Spot a Romance Scam:
Online dating is a great way to meet "the one," but, unfortunately, it's also an easy way to encounter scammers. Be wary of anyone who:
About BBB of Central, Northern & Western Arizona
BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews® on more than 4.7 million businesses and 11,000 charities, all available free at bbb.org. Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona is supported by over 11,400 BBB Accredited Businesses. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business reviews and charity reports, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.