Internet dating fraud stories
People are often ashamed to come forward and admit that they’ve been duped.
It’s not a good feeling to have been taken advantage of, and a scheme that’s so obvious in hindsight is even harder to admit to. If you date online, take precautions to protect yourself.
After her 25-year marriage ended, Patricia Martin* was determined she wouldn’t spend her life alone.
A mother of three who worked odd hours, she thought Internet dating would be a perfect fit.
That’s when she realized she was being scammed, said Sheila, who asked that her full name be withheld because she feels ashamed and hasn't told her family and many of her friends what happened to her. The financial loss keeps growing as well: victims lost nearly 0 million in 2016, more than double the nearly million lost in 2014, according to the FBI.
The Federal Trade Commission also had a spike in the number of complaints about possible romance-related scams, up more two-fold to 11,149 from 2014 levels.
Anyone can be the target and victim of these scams—men, women, young, old, gay, straight, white, black, Asian, Hispanic… But the FBI states that women who are “over 40, divorced, widowed, and/or disabled” are prime targets for scammers.In a related case, Funmilayo Joyce Shodeke, age 67, of Burtonsville, Maryland, pleaded guilty on March 22, 2017 to conducting an unlicensed money transmitting business, and was sentenced to 13 months’ probation, and ordered to forfeit ,900.According to the evidence presented at trial, and co-conspirators’ plea agreements, from January 2011 to May 18, 2015, members of the conspiracy searched online dating websites to initiate romantic relationships with vulnerable male and female individuals.Internet-dating sites provide easy pickings for these scammers.After all, reconnaissance-or the scoping-out of victims and their vulnerabilities-has already been done for them.