Internet dating fraud

Now - a victim reports dating fraud every 3 hours according to figures from the City of London Police (Co LP).

'Dating fraud can shatter people’s lives both financially and emotionally and we know that losing what felt like a trusting and very real relationship is often what is most difficult to come to terms with,' said Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online'People shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed if they have been tricked in this way'.

Given victims’ presumed complicity in these scams (because, technically, their money is given voluntarily), and the resulting stigma, it’s likely that online relationship scams are much more prevalent than even FTC reports suggest.

The Cut spoke to the victim of one such scam, Debby Montgomery Johnson, now 60, who lost more than a million dollars to a scammer between 20._________ How did you meet the man who would eventually scam you? I’d been married for almost 26 years, and he had a sudden heart attack and died. Lou left [for a short trip] on a Wednesday, and I got the call Thursday morning. Lou and I had been in the military, and when we went off on temporary duty, we always said “Good-bye, and see you soon.” It was kind of like that.

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In 2018, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 21,000 reports about online romance scams, totaling $143 million in losses.

More and more of us looking for love online these days.

In fact, online dating accounts for more than 25% of all new relationships, according to the Online Dating Association (ODA). Dating fraud, which relies of scammers striking up a relationship with someone online and then asking them for money, has increased by 32% since 2015.

As the number of dating sites and social media apps has gone up, so too has the number of romance scams reported — from 17,000 in 2017, 11,000 in 2016, and 8,500 in 2015.

Last year, the median loss reported was ,600, which is seven times higher than the median loss for other forms of fraud tracked by the FTC.

But again, I wasn’t anticipating anyone not telling me the truth, so I just figured, well, he’s an international contractor, maybe they don’t have those guys listed on the company roster. I felt like I understood what he was doing, because at the time, I had investments in trees in Costa Rica. So for me, that was kind of a sign, that this gentleman works in a business I have an investment in.

Did he tell you he was based in one place, or was he moving around all that time?

I’d never heard of anybody being taken by an online romance, I’d only heard the good stuff.

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