Online dating scams also referred to as internet romance scams are attempts to defraud users of online dating websites through fictitious personal profiles. Perpetrators of these scams often misrepresent themselves as single individuals looking for a romantic or sexual relationship to develop an emotional bond with the victim, which can then be used to extort money or goods from the victim. These scams frequently originate overseas, particularly West Africa or Eastern Europealthough scammers have been known to operate inside the United States as well .
Men and women looking for prospective romantic partners online should take note of these two: Laura Cahill, who described herself as an aspiring young model living in Paris, and Britney Parkwell, who pointed to her relative youth as a year-old from sunny San Jose, California. There's one big problem: Despite profiles that said they were seeking love online, they never existed. They were fake personas created as part of an elaborate scheme run out of Africa to con hundreds of thousands of dollars from vulnerable Americans, according to the California-based cyber-security firm Agari.
For the latest business news and markets data, please visit CNN Business. Inthe FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center received 5, complaints from victims of so-called "romance scammers" -- criminals who scan online dating sites, chat rooms and social networking sites for potential victims. In a typical con, the perpetrator will spend weeks or even months building up a romantic relationship with a victim through e-mails, texts or phone calls, before eventually asking for money.
Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. Internet romance scams are on the rise, costing victims millions of dollars each year. Here's how to protect yourself. A link has been sent to your friend's email address.
Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. Some are taking on new debt in the name of love, such as opening up credit cards. A link has been sent to your friend's email address.
A Texas woman in her fifties was trapped in an abusive marriage. But against all odds -- and to her joyful amazement -- she found her soulmate online. They prayed online, laughed and sang together.
The scammers may just have lit upon the perfect crime: They sit at computers safely overseas, hunting for their prey on social networks, and they rarely get caught. Steve G. Jones is a victim too: His name and photos were stolen to create the fake identities used in romance scams.
A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim's money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers ; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf. Romance scammers create personal profiles using stolen photographs of attractive people for the purpose of asking others to contact them.