Internet dating fraud

The money orders or cheques will turn out to be fake or stolen and the victim will be left out of pocket and possibly held responsible for receiving stolen funds.The scammers may also try to trick victims into revealing sensitive information such as credit card numbers.It’s almost like the perfect crime."Here are tips experts offer to stay safe online: 1. A growing epidemic in the world today is the Online Romance Scam.In other cases, the scammers may simply send out random unsolicited emails professing a desire to begin a relationship in the hope that some gullible recipients will favourably respond.Alternatively, they may strike up a conversation with a potential victim via an Internet chat room.While singles looking for love cover a wide range of demographics, Beining said scammers prey on the most vulnerable, women over the age of 60, often widowed and not digitally savvy."It has a lot to do with how isolated people are from family and friends, from other people who could have warned them," Beining said. Most claim they lost their wife to some form of cancer, are raising their child alone, work keeps them at a distance — often abroad — and are looking for love.

Eventually, the scammer will ask for help, for various reasons, involving the victim sending money.

In Uniontown, Ohio, Theresa Dies, 70, met a man on Facebook who she said resembled Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

The man asked her to send several thousand dollars. "But get online and do some research about this person you’re talking to." Beining recommends searching for the person’s photo on other websites and doing a Google search.6. The most vulnerable people are those who are isolated.

In some cases the scammers may be the one to create a profile on a dating site and wait for a potential victim to contact them.

Typically, the profile will include a photograph of a very attractive young woman who will have no trouble attracting would-be suitors.

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