FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. Valentine’s Day ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Warning

Romance Scam Warning

A SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Insight

FBI Warns of Romance ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Ahead of Valentine’s Day

The FBI Columbia field office is warning the public about bad actors using romance scams ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Romance scams occur when criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. actors deceive victims into believing they are engaging in a trusting relationship. They use that relationship to persuade victims to send money, provide personal and financial information, or purchase items for them.

In 2020, complaints filed with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), showed that victims lost more than $281 million to romance scams. South Carolinians reported losses of more than $4.4 million that year. These schemes affect victims from all demographics, but elderly women are often targeted most.

The FBI offers these warning signs of the actors and their schemes:

  • Immediate attempts to communicate by email or messaging services outside of a dating site
  • Claims to be from the U.S. but is currently living or traveling abroad
  • Claims that being introduced was “destiny” or “fate”
  • Reports a sudden personal crisis and pressures you to provide financial help
  • Disappears suddenly from a site, but reappears under a different name
  • Asks for money, goods, or other types of financial assistance without having met in person

The best defense against romance scams is education and awareness. Below are some tips to help avoid becoming a victim:

  • Never send money to someone you meet online, especially by wire transfer.
  • Never give someone your banking or credit card information without verifying a recipient’s identity.
  • Never share your Social Security Number or other personally identifiable information with someone who does not need to know the information.
  • Be careful what you post and make public online. Scammers can use details shared on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you.
  • Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the image, name, or details have been used elsewhere.
  • Go slowly and ask the other person lots of questions.

If you believe you are a victim of a romance scam, the FBI recommends reporting the activity to the IC3 at www.ic3.gov. You should also contact your financial institution if you discover fraudulent or suspicious transactions. Finally, you should report the activity to the website or application where the contact first began.

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U.S. FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARS at www.Anyscams.com

Find Real ScammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. & Fake Stolen Photos On ScamsONLINE.org

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