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As the FBI puts it, “Victims who have agreed to meet in person with an online love interest have been reported missing, or injured, or in one instance, deceased.” How to avoid romance scams Taking some commonsense precautions can greatly reduce the risk of falling victim to a romance scam. Since social media profiles may be fake, do online searches on your sweetie’s photo and profile to see if it has appeared somewhere else.Be wary if someone asks you to leave Facebook or a dating service to talk “offline.” Be skeptical of boyfriends you’ve never met. (Russian fraudsters are also heavily involved in romance scams, according to ) The victims are educated, computer-savvy and emotionally vulnerable, the agency adds.Con artists are able to hone in on that vulnerability because potential “marks” post openly about their lives and dreams on social media and dating sites.They planned to meet after his business trip to Dubai, but he called her to say he had left his wallet and ID in a taxi there.Leeman offered a loan to help out and wired him ,000, after which he vanished. Love can make you do anything.” Trolling for victims It's one of the oldest cons there is.In figures from romancescam.org, which has 59,000 members, 1,813 members have reported more than ,891,837 in losses to romance scams – an average of more than ,430 in losses per victim.
In 2016, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received close to 15,000 reports of “romance scams,” amounting to more than 0 million in losses.Once money is wired overseas, it is virtually impossible to recover, according to Eimiller.