Victims of online dating scams

This leaves many victims not only embarrassed, but also in financial distress.

Professor Whitty asked them about their relationship history; what psychological state they were in before the scam; the full description of the scam; why they believe they were persuaded to part with money (if they did); details of what happened after the scam (e.g.

how police dealt with it); how they were psychologically affected by the scam; and what their current state is.

Maria deposited the check and sent the money, but was soon contacted by her bank, which told her the check was bad and she had to repay the $4,500.

On top of losing her money, the fake “Andrew” disappeared, and Maria never heard from him again. The scammer may use photos from magazines and portray himself or herself as talented and successful. citizen working or serving abroad, or give a similar excuse to explain their inability to meet in person.

These criminals—who also troll social media sites and chat rooms in search of romantic victims—usually claim to be Americans traveling or working abroad. Their most common targets are women over 40 who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled, but every age group and demographic is at risk. You’re contacted online by someone who appears interested in you.

He or she may have a profile you can read or a picture that is e-mailed to you.

Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate.

But as Valentine’s Day gets closer, we want to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams.

The results showed that basic marketing techniques were used to groom victims, increasing the feelings of a genuine relationship and leaving victims susceptible to fraud.

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