While those reports accounted for only 1. Swindlers will often use fake or stolen identities to attract unsuspecting victims, a process known as catfishing. They lead their targets on, sometimes for long periods, building up trust only to abuse it. The number of reports more than doubled over a three-year period, too, to more than 21, last year. While many scams take place on dating websites, some victims have reported being approached elsewhere on social media, such as on Facebook or even through online games.
Online Dating and Romance Scams | The Office of Attorney General Keith Ellison
A recent study indicates that 15 percent of American adults use online dating websites or mobile applications. As the number of people looking to meet new people online grows, so does the opportunity for fraud. Some scam artists use bogus profiles to con the people they meet out of hundreds or thousands of dollars. This leaves many victims not only embarrassed but also in financial distress.
How to Avoid a Romance Scam When Using Online Dating Sites
This wikiHow teaches you how to avoid being scammed on dating sites. Online dating scammers tend to target people who have a large amount of information in their profiles, and the scam is usually based around stealing money, credit card information, or personal information from the victim. Tip: You can avoid the bulk of online dating scams by establishing a hard rule about not sending money to anyone you haven't met in person. Scammers can target anyone.
We respect your privacy. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. Just over a year ago, the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—had pleaded guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites. According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud. The FBI says it may be embarrassing for victims to report this type of fraud scheme because of the personal relationships that are developed, so the real numbers are probably higher.