Scammers, hiding behind fictitious profiles, initiate a relationship with an individual seeking companionship, marriage, or a sexual relationship. One character commonly described by victims is an attractive, wealthy American citizen living abroad, frequently in Nigeria or another west African country.Once a potential victim has built a strong emotional bond with his or her would-be lover, the scammer will begin to solicit funds in order to deal with a series of increasingly unfortunate situation.If you’ve fallen victim to a romance scammer, here are some ways to start regaining control of your financial life.File a complaint: Federal Trade Commission: Call 877-FTC-Help, or file a complaint online.These complications may be family-related (a close family member is very sick and needs financial assistance) or travel-related (a hotel manager has seized my passport, or immigration officials require bribes).Payments are often made through wire transfer, although victims have been asked to send physical goods, like electronics, as well.
"They slowly become part of the victim’s dreams." Sluppick’s organization provides support and education to those who lose their hearts -- and often a chunk of their finances -- to scammers.Western Union received at least 44,500 complaints about online dating and romance scams, with losses totaling at least million, between 20, the FTC’s Todd Kossow says.Amy Nofziger, regional director of the AARP Foundation, explained how a romance scam works: The scammer will often say he or she is from the United States, but is traveling or working overseas, and will quickly profess his or her love for you.There are many variations of online dating scams originating in Russia and Eastern Europe but they have in common a high emotional and financial cost to unsuspecting scam victims.
Typically, a man comes into contact with a scammer through an online dating agency.
“They slowly become part of the victim’s dreams.” Sluppick’s organization provides support and education to those who lose their hearts – and often a chunk of their finances – to scammers.