Romance scams steal your money by stealing your heart

TULSA, Okla. “It seems so innocent…at least at first.

You form a relationship with someone online, on social media and it lasts for weeks, months, even years and then you are crushed.

“You will talk to them for months and months and months, and they will break your heart.” Debbie Jackson says more than one scammer has used her social media information to lure her. “I’ve had so many people try to prank me, pretending they’re someone else.”

Women and men fall in love with these scammers who tug at their heartstrings.

A victim spoke to 2 News Oklahoma, but did not want to be identified, he shared how after starting a five-year relationship on a dating site, he lost $15,000 to a woman who told him finally asked to be an intermediary for her engineering works. It ended up being a money laundering operation.

“It’s hard, I lost money, it ruined everything financially for me, trying to rebuild my credit, it was so fucked up for me,” he said. declared.

The Federal Trade Commission and the FBI say that scammers tell all kinds of lies to interfere in the lives of their victims.

Signs of a romance scam include:

  • Someone professes love quickly.
  • They pretend to be abroad for business or military service.
  • They ask for money or claim to need it for emergencies, hospital bills or trips.
  • They can lure you out of your social media or dating site.
  • They plan to visit, but cannot due to an emergency.

The stories, the FBI warns, are seemingly endless and it’s an elaborate and painstaking plan.

“They’re very adept at identifying levers that might move a person, whether it’s hope, greed, or fear, and then they manipulate that,” says FBI’s Keith Custer.

Scammers know that millions of people use online dating and social media sites. They’re there too, hiding behind take profiles, pouncing on victims like Debbie Jackson, who also wants to warn others, before their bank account, trust, and heart are broken.

“I don’t want anyone else to get hurt,” she said.

If you or a friend or loved one is involved in an online relationship, it is important to:

  • Slow down and talk to someone you trust. Don’t let a scammer rush you.
  • Never transfer or transfer money from your bank account, and never buy gift cards. It is almost impossible to recover this money. Contact your bank immediately if you think you have sent money to a scammer.
  • Be careful what you post and make public online. Remember, this is where scammers get the details they need to target you.
  • Beware of someone who tries to isolate you from family and friends, or asks for inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used to extort you.
  • Do an online search on the type of job the person has, to see if others have heard similar stories. For example, search for “oil rig scammer” or “US military scammer”.
  • Do a reverse image search on the person’s profile picture, to see if it’s associated with another name or details that don’t match.

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