Is It Amour – Or Scam 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.-More?
Online romance may begin with Panic!
It begins with High Hopes, but all too often it ends with the conclusion that – to quote the J. Geils Band – Love Stinks.
According to the United States Federal Trade Commission
Far be it from us to put a damper on Valentine’s Day, but reports to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network suggest that the injury inflicted by romance scams is on the rise. According to the new Data Spotlight, “For three years running, people have reported losing more money on romance scams than on any other fraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements.
A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. type identified in Sentinel. In 2020, reported losses to romance scams reached a record $304 million, up about 50% from 2019. For an individual, that meant a median dollar loss of $2,500.”
Why the increase? The continued popularity of dating apps Applications or Apps
An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc.
Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free.
Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware.
Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. is part of the story, but the pandemic has played a part, too. For right now, the need for social distancing and masking makes the “meet cute” at the local coffee shop less likely. Of course, we’ve all heard heart-warming stories of romances that started on-screen and blossomed IRL, but the Data Spotlight suggests that at least some of those digital dalliances may be hiding something more sinister.
What does that have to do with you? We thought you’d never ask. Chances are that someone you know – a friend or family member perhaps – has a long-distance love they have yet to meet. A subtle word from you about the telltale signs of a romance scam could mean one less report to Consumer Sentinel in 2021 about a heartbroken and a wallet emptied by a romance scammer.
It can be a difficult topic to broach, but we have a sure-fire opener: “I just read the most fascinating thing on the website of the Federal Trade Commission, America’s consumer protection agency.” (What? That’s not your typical conversation starter? No Valentine for you!)
Regardless of how you bring up the topic, Valentine’s Day offers a way to share some heart-to-heart hints.
Romance scams can happen to anyone. According to the FTC’s Data Spotlight, reports of money lost on romance scams increased for every age group in 2020. The 20-29 crowd saw the most notable spike, with the number of reports more than doubling since 2019. People between 40 and 69 were once again the most likely to report losing money to romance scams.
And people 70+ reported the highest individual median losses at $9,475 (the average)
Every picture tells a story, but most of those stories are fiction. Knowing that fetching photos can lure in a love, scammers routinely steal people’s photos and pass themselves off as the person in the picture.
To investigate their identity, try a reverse-image search of their profile picture or other photos they send you. If the picture is associated with another name or if the details don’t match up, you’re dealing with a scammer. However, do not try to track down the person pictured – trust us, they know their photos are being used! Learn more about that here.
Don’t mix romance with finance.
We always caution people not to wire money or send gift cards to online loves, but we have a new tip to add.
Don’t let your guard down just because that special someone sends you money first. You can bet the money’s stolen. Next, they’ll want you to send it on for some cooked-up reason. This is how people become unwitting accomplices to money laundering Money laundering is the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. Money laundering can be done through various mediums, leveraging a variety of payment vehicles, people and institutions. (become a MULE).
As soon as the requests for money start, it’s time to – depending on your musical generation – Go Your Own Way, bid them Bye Bye Bye, or make it clear that We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.