This Valentine's Day, authorities are once again warning individuals to watch out for anyone perpetrating romance scams. Such "fauxmance" often takes the form of fraudster Romeos and Juliets, many of whom are operating from West Africa or Eastern Europe. Army Captain Starling Michael. Romance scams typically start with the promise of companionship or romance, always leading to a demand for one thing. They might claim they need it for a medical emergency or to come visit you. Then they take your money, but there's no surgery and no trip," only heartache.
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Getting ready to enroll in Medicare? He was the answer to her prayers. Before she knew it, her savings were gone. And the man of her dreams? He might not even exist.
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There are no reliable stats for how many Americans fall prey to online dating scams every year. A lot of victims are too embarrassed to report the crime. Scammers target the vulnerable—widows and widowers, the elderly, the lonely and isolated.
A new million-euro criminal industry targeting wealthy divorcees is growing in Europe. Organized crime syndicates are preying on middle-age users of dating websites in Germany, the U. Fraudsters in Southern and Eastern European countries set up ghost accounts, often claiming to be soldiers on tour or nurses working in remote locations, giving an excuse for not being in regular contact with their victims, who they meet on dating sites. The owners of the fake profiles then hit a tragedy, a family bereavement or medical emergency, and ask victims to send money through hard-to-trace methods like money transfer services.