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While the case was remarkable for its magnitude, when it comes to so-called “romance scams,” it still represents just the tip of the iceberg.
According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud.
But as he continued to push for money, Best realized something was off. but who says they're stuck outside of the country and in need of money is a popular ploy among scammers. Some even claim they need money for medical expenses from combat injuries. "We cannot stress enough that people need to stop sending money to persons they meet on the Internet and claim to be in the U. military," Chris Grey, the Army CID's spokesman said in a statement.
She searched Web forums, eventually finding another woman's story of a scammer with the same name. Mingle2, the dating site, did not respond to requests for comment. And in recent months, the International Crime Complaint Center has warned of a new dating extortion scam where scammers bait members of online dating sites into intimate conversations, then threaten to expose them if they don't pay up.
“There was one woman who got scammed for over a million dollars, her whole retirement nest egg,” says Farquhar.
In 2015, the last year for which data is available, consumers lost more than 0 million this way.
(It is estimated that only 15 percent of fraud victims report their losses to law enforcement, so the real numbers are probably higher.) As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about. “Most people think the victims are middle-aged women who can't get a date, but I have worked with men and women of all ages—doctors and lawyers, CEOs of companies, people from the entertainment industry—who you’d never think in a million years would fall for these scams but do,” says Barb Sluppick, who runs romancescams.org, a watchdog site and online support group.
Be especially cautious with people you only know through online messages and phone calls. Many scammers use fake photos to lure their victims but video messaging is much harder to fake.
So now that I’ve done three almost four months in the no pay zone of online dating. I don’t seem to be having as much luck with the free sites. I also have had my fair share of contacts from women. When I am not interested I tend to let things move slowly, women sense this and move on.