Internet dating scames in ghana america
For thousands of people each year, the search for love online ends not just with a broken heart, but an empty bank account.So-called romance scams — in which fraudsters smother victims with professions of love then plead for large “loans” to cover invented emergencies — appear to be on the rise, according to federal law enforcement and fraud experts.
It’s as if “their immune system to fraud” is weakened, Shadel said.A few months after her husband’s death in 2012, Joanna — who asked her real name not be used to protect her privacy — went on looking for the soul mate she’d never had in her troubled marriage.She soon got a message from a man who said he was a widowed engineer from Colorado.Romance scams cost nearly 5,900 victims more than $86.7 million last year, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.And state and federal agencies have shut down several large romance scams in recent months, including a case in which two South Africans and a Canadian were extradited to the U. on charges of bilking hundreds of Americans of millions of dollars through romance scams and other financial fraud schemes.Within a week the man calling himself John had captured Joanna’s heart with compliments, humor and declarations that she was the one.
A few months later John had to travel to Africa for business — a common ruse that signals the start of trouble.
A car accident was followed by other emergencies that prevented him from coming home — and led to requests for more cash.
The spell finally broke when Joanna demanded that John show his face on a webcam.
Federal officials acknowledge that many cases are not investigated, but they encourage people to report these crimes because the information helps them spot patterns and build cases against repeat offenders.
And it allows victims to claim the loss on their taxes. I wish I had listened to the Romance Scams support group,” Joanna said. thousands of dollars.” The best protection, experts say, is to cut off contact as soon as a prospective date acts suspiciously (see below for tips on spotting red flags).
As Internet romance has become more accepted in society — and grown into a more than $2 billion market — fraudsters have found ways to monetize the search for a partner, with organized crime rings around the globe now getting in on the action.