Money scams on internet dating

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In mid December the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—pled guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites.

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But just as dating app users are at an all-time high, so is the number of people becoming victims of online dating fraud.

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

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. While 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.

“That big investment gives victims a false sense that the relationship must be real.” Eventually a pitch for money comes.

Often the scammer will say an emergency situation has arisen and money is needed fast to avoid dire consequences.

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