Internet dating scams scammers does the economy affect dating

Romance fraud happens on every online dating site, Bernas said.

Just over a year ago, the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—had pleaded guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites.

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The bureau undertook the study when it noticed an increase in complaints about online dating scams, said Steve Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois.

Armed with a bit of foreknowledge, you'll find you can 'smell' a hoax as soon as it hits your inbox or social network.

“The common denominator is that they are seeking a loving relationship and they believe they have found it,” the report said.

The FBI’s Internet Fraud Complaint Center and the Federal Trade Commission estimate that so-called romance fraud causes the greatest dollar loss of any fraud or scam that affects individuals, with the exception of investment fraud.

In 2016, the last year for which data is available, consumers lost more than 0 million this way.

(The FBI says it may be embarrassing for victims to report this type of fraud scheme because of the personal relationships that are developed, so the real numbers are probably higher.) As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about. “Most people think the victims are middle-aged women who can’t get a date, but I have worked with men and women of all ages—doctors and lawyers, CEOs of companies, people from the entertainment industry—who you’d never think in a million years would fall for these scams but do,” says Barb Sluppick, who runs Romance Scams, a watchdog site and online support group.

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