Her reaction to losing almost 0,000 to the swindler: “I blame myself.I felt like jumping off a cliff.”Law enforcement authorities say the swindlers follow a similar pattern.“They get the victim to trust them, then create a sense or urgency and prey on the trust they’ve created,” said David Farquhar of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s financial crimes section.
Swindlers can gain access to the lovelorn by hacking into a dormant dating profile and altering such information as age, gender and occupation, according to Vermont investigators.
But Eva Ross, of DKC, Match.com’s public relations agency, said the site asks users to pledge “never to send money or share financial information with other Match users” and “to report anyone who asks me for money or my financial information.”She said users can alert the site about suspicious activity with a “report a concern” button.
She noted, however, that con artists “have the ability to hide or mask their I. addresses using various services and software available to hide their true location and bypass our security checks.”The lure of romance swindlers can be hard to resist, said Ms. “It makes me sound so stupid, but he would be calling me in the evening and at night. We had plans to go to the Bahamas and to Bermuda together.“When I found out it was a scam, I felt so betrayed.
The AARP network recommends that from the beginning, dating site members use Google’s “search by image” to see if the suitor’s picture appears on other sites with different names.
If an email from “a potential suitor seems suspicious, cut and paste it into Google and see if the words pop up on any romance scam sites,” the network advised.