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Since 2010, Canadians have lost nearly million to romance scams (also called confidence scams or sweetheart scams).Rosanna Leeman, 48, told Canadian reporters that she fell for a widower she met online who told her how incredibly lucky he was to have someone like her in his life. (That was 2,500 more reports than the previous year.) The states with the most victims were California, Florida, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania.
(Insurance policies don’t cover such scams.) Do not believe the scammer’s promises that you will be repaid, she says.
“There can’t be a man this horrible, to do what he did to me,” she told FBI investigators.
This heartache – and financial ruin – is all too common in romance scams, according to the FBI.
In addition, don’t give anyone access to your bank account information so they can “store” money there.
And beware of anyone who asks you to mail packages on his or her behalf: You might find yourself implicated in a criminal operation. Once you realize you’re dealing with a fraudster, cut off all contact. Ask that packages not be delivered to your home or work.
He then blackmails the victim by threatening to release the videos or photos on Facebook or email unless she pays him off.