Febrero 19, 2018

Romance scams rise around Valentine's Day

14 Febrero 2018, 11:00 | Gervasio Siguenza

No valentines here: Fake online dating profiles used to scam suitors out of cash

Officials warn of online dating scams

The Better Business Bureau held a press conference on Tuesday morning, February 13 about online romance scams, just in time for Valentine's Day.

Tyler explained that the conversation between the online user and scammer will go on for months at a time.

The BBB says many of these scams are out of West Africa, particularly Nigeria, Russia and Ukraine.

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the Tri-State, follow Eyewitness News on Facebook and Twitter. The Federal Trade Commission has announced that the anyone who sent money to a scammer through the company may be eligible for a refund. They meet victims, interact with them, and quickly try to get them to move to a different form communication such as email or texting.

“Singles trying to develop a relationship often turn to an online dating site or app to find someone, ” the BBB report said.

Nancy Kropiewnicki, an elder abuse coordinator with Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, said scammers also will read obituaries and pose as long-lost friends or Army buddies to surviving family members.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director of Age UK also commented on the report, revealing that romance fraud cases are far more common than any of us think. "Then, once the relationship is formed, at some point the scammer determines an "extraction point" where she or he begins to ask the other party for money to 'help them out'".

MBIE consumer protection manager Mark Hollingsworth says online scams are prevalent on Valentine's Day and are not always obvious.

Do your research. Many scammers steal photos from the web to use in their profiles. Scammers usually have more than one account.

"If you want to meet the person, but he or she repeatedly tells you that they can't, it could be a sign of fraud", said Lee. Some will even ask their target to break the law to get the money.

The ACCC recommends users never provide financial details to people they've met online, and never to send funds to a person they haven't met in person. Cut off contact if someone starts asking you for information like credit card, bank, or government ID numbers.

Phishing emails claiming to be from an online dating site and encouraging you to divulge personal information. Verify the information in the profile through reverse image search or searching to see if their biography has been used in other places.

"Don't share intimate photos or use webcams in an intimate setting".

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