Romance Scam Demographics
According to the U.S. Government’s IC3 Organization, their 2012 Annual Report (their latest as of this posting) showed the following.
Remember, this is only based upon the reports they received, the actual numbers are perhaps 10 to 20 times larger!
Total Complaints To The IC3 Are Down In Latest Report
Perpetrators use the promise of love and romance to entice and manipulate online victims. A perpetrator scouts the Internet for victims, often finding them in chat rooms, on dating sites and even within social media networks. These individuals seduce victims with small gifts, poetry, claims of common interest or the promise of constant companionship. Once the scammers gain the trust of their victims, they request money, ask victims to receive packages and reship them overseas or seek other favors. These cyber criminals capitalize on the vulnerabilities of their victims. This crime not only affects the victims financially, there are emotional and mental implications as well. The IC3 received 4,467 complaints and the victims’ losses totalled more than $55 million.
- Be cautious of individuals who claim it was destiny or fate and you are meant to be together, or claim God brought you to him/her. They often claim to love you within 24-48 hours.
- These individuals want your address to send you flowers, candy and teddy bears, often purchased with stolen credit cards.
- They ask for your phone number, but when they call, you can barely understand them.
- Be wary if an individual tells you they are so in love with you that they cannot live without you but they need you to send them some money so they can come to see you. To them, love equals financial assistance. If you do not send them money or help them out with what they ask, you do not love them.
- They typically claim to be from the United States (or your local region) but they are overseas, or going overseas, mainly to Nigeria or Ghana or Western Africa, sometimes the UnitedKingdom, for business or family matters.
Romance Scams Victim Demographics
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