Dating dangers of the past
They usually claim to have jobs that keep them outside the country for long periods of time, such as working on an oil rig, serving in the military, or working for a nonprofit.Next, they seek out victims – usually people who are lonely and vulnerable – and work to build up relationships with them.
More than 14,500 Americans fell victim to this kind of scam in 2016, up from fewer than 6,000 in 2014.Scammers’ favorite victims are: The people who fall for romance scams aren’t the only victims. soldiers are particularly likely to be targeted, since being deployed overseas gives scammers a good excuse for not being able to meet their love interests in person. For several years, he’s been receiving angry e-mails, Facebook messages, and sometimes even personal visits from women who claim he broke their hearts and took their money.Scammers can also cause a lot of trouble for the people – usually men – whose images they steal to create their fake identities. Also, the image of a strong soldier protecting his country tends to appeal to women seeking love online. Many of them refuse to believe he isn’t the man they fell in love with and have begged him to continue a relationship that never existed.Britain’s Telegraph newspaper reported in 2016 on a woman who was sentenced to two years in prison for writing scripts for romance scams, including one in which the scammer claimed to be a widow whose husband was killed in the 9/11 attacks. Often they’ll start out by asking for a small amount, such as a few extra dollars for a child’s birthday present.Once they know the victim is hooked, they pretend to go through some kind of crisis that requires a large amount of cash to fix, such as a robbery, a medical or legal problem, a frozen bank account, or a business opportunity.