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Skip. They say love hurts. For three years running, people have reported losing more money on romance scams than on any other fraud type identified in Sentinel.

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Sure, you can find love online. You could also find yourself falling for a clever con artist dating Baltimore Maryland MD men online will gain your trust and rob you blind. It happens all too often. For the past two years, more money has been lost to romance scams than any other type of scam reported to the FTC.

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Scammers lurk on dating apps and social media, striking up conversation with strangers until they build up trust to eventually ask for money.

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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 find someone for free Tempe cannot meet in person or need money for medical treatment.

Romance scams take record dollars in

Given the rampant use of social media and rise of online dating Glendale distance 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 they are honestly helping somebody they care for and who needs help.

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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 swingers Point TX free felt innocent.

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He was just so enamored with me. Within four weeks, Floren began noticing red flags. The scammer asked for a gift card so he could watch movies for an upcoming international flight.

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It was at this point that Floren realized she was being scammed. She was shocked to see how many women responded with similar experiences.

Looking for love online? romance scammers steal your heart to steal your money

According to the FTC, gift cards and wire transfers are the most commonly 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.

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Consumers can report suspicious profiles at reportfraud. All rights reserved. View the discussion thread. Search WTTW:.

A cautionary tale

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