Hidden by the internet, this seedy scammer preys on the loneliness of another person. He sculpts an image of an upstanding and charming individual who has romantic feelings for the victim. It is not long before the scammer has reason to ask his sweetheart for money, exploiting the victim’s trust. Victims can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars if they continue to believe the reasons given for needing a “temporary loan” which, of course, the scammer never intends to repay.
A cruel twist on this scam was reported by the Attorney General of North Carolina whose office received a complaint about a man who found a woman to befriend at the cemetery. She was visiting the grave of her husband. He “quickly wormed his way into her heart, her home and her bank account,” according to the Attorney General.
To avoid a romance scam, the North Carolina Attorney General offers these tips:
• Remember, people aren’t always who they claim to be.
• Never send or wire money to a stranger you meet online.
• Once the money has been wired, it is highly unlikely you will ever get it back.
• Never give out your personal information to someone you meet online, no matter what the circumstance or why they say they need it.