Online dating fraud statistics
But you also need to balance that openness with some wariness and healthy skepticism, or you could be taken advantage of.
At the last moment, their plans fall through due to tragedy – and only your money can bail them out so you can meet at last.In mid December the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—pled guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites.While the case was remarkable for its magnitude, when it comes to so-called “romance scams,” it still represents just the tip of the iceberg.“That big investment gives victims a false sense that the relationship must be real.” Eventually a pitch for money comes.Often the scammer will say an emergency situation has arisen and money is needed fast to avoid dire consequences.The agency warned, however, that "every age group and demographic is at risk." The traditional online dating scam is "A Nigerian guy gets a victim to send money by a wire transfer," said Iovation's O'Hearn.
That phishing-style scam still happens, but fewer people fall for it now.
Chances are you've tried an online dating site in hopes of finding true love.
Unfortunately, scammers post fake profiles and pictures on these same sites in hopes of finding deep pockets.
More than 5,800 romance scam complaints were filed with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2014, the last year in which data are available, with a total associated losses topping $86 million.
The most common target of online dating scams are women over 40, who are divorced, widowed, or disabled, according to the FBI.
Of 288,000 online scams, with losses totaling almost $1.1 billion, romance scams accounted for 20 percent of all losses and only 4 percent of all victims. "They’re all smoke and mirrors," Barb Sluppick, owner of Romance Scams.org, says of the scammers.