This makes it hard for the victim to do due diligence.
The FTC received reports of 21,000 romance scams in 2018, up from 8,500 in 2015.
The financial consequences of these scams are also getting bigger, with reported losses quadrupling from $33 million in 2015 to $143 million in 2018.
“Scammers can reap large rewards for time spent courting their targets,” the report states ominously, before revealing that the median reported financial loss across age groups was $2,600, about seven times higher than the median loss for other types of fraud. This isn’t the first time the FTC has weighed in on online dating scams.
Last May, the agency responded to frequent Freedom of Information Acts requests on the topic by releasing thousands of consumer complaints pertaining to Match.com, Tinder, Plentyof Fish, Bumble, Grindr, and Ok Cupid, among others.
“That big investment gives victims a false sense that the relationship must be real.” Eventually a pitch for money comes.
Often the scammer will say an emergency situation has arisen and money is needed fast to avoid dire consequences.
“For example, many people say the scam started with a Facebook message.” According to the FTC, these scammers typically ask for money to be wired to them, or transferred via gift card.
They come up with urgent-sounding reasons — like health problems or “some other misfortune” — or pretend to need the money in order to travel to meet up in person.
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had the most complaints, which were sifted through by The Outline’s Drew Millard, who found one man that had sent 0,000 over the course of four months to a woman in Norway who said she wanted to marry him, as well as a woman who had sent ,000 to a man who claimed he was a soldier stationed in Afghanistan.