Online dating scams targeting women

25-Aug-2019 00:35

"Romance scams have been around for hundreds of years but [with] the Internet ...it's so much easier to fake one's identity," says an AARP official.In all, she sent him nearly 0,000, as he apparently followed a well-honed script that online criminals use to bilk members of dating sites out of tens of millions of dollars a year." According to the Times internet scammers are targeting women in their 50s and 60s, often retired and living alone, who say that the email and phone wooing forms a bond that may not be physical but that is intense and enveloping. 31, 2014, nearly 6,000 people registered complaints of such confidence fraud with losses of .3 million, according to the federal Internet Crime Complaint Center.Older people are ideal targets because they often have accumulated savings over a lifetime, own their homes and are susceptible to being deceived by someone intent on fraud. Cook, a church secretary in Virginia, had been a widow for a decade when she joined an Internet dating site and was quickly overcome by a rush of emails, phone calls and plans for a face-to-face visit.

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So they meet someone online and these con artists try to develop a relationship with them.

“The Internet makes this type of crime easy because you can pretend to be anybody you want to be.

You can be anywhere in the world and victimize people,” she said.

The woman believed she would be paying to have the money—including the repayment of her million—transferred to the U. from South Africa, where Charlie was still supposedly working.

In July 2016, the two Nigerian co-conspirators pleaded guilty in connection with their roles in the scam, and a federal judge sentenced them each to 36 months in prison last December.

So they meet someone online and these con artists try to develop a relationship with them.“The Internet makes this type of crime easy because you can pretend to be anybody you want to be.You can be anywhere in the world and victimize people,” she said.The woman believed she would be paying to have the money—including the repayment of her million—transferred to the U. from South Africa, where Charlie was still supposedly working.In July 2016, the two Nigerian co-conspirators pleaded guilty in connection with their roles in the scam, and a federal judge sentenced them each to 36 months in prison last December.The digital version of the romance con is now sufficiently widespread that AARP's Fraud Watch Network has urged online dating sites to institute more safeguards to protect against such fraud.