Dating scams in 2020 cost $300 million, targeted older Americans: FTC | #datingscams | #lovescams | #facebookscams

  • Romance scams may start on dating apps and social media. But the scammer often moves them to other communication options and asks for money.
  • Romance scams escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic, with fraud across all age groups totaling $304 million, up about 50% from 2019, the FTC says.
  • For those aged 60-79, romance scams made up the highest reported losses. The median loss for those 70-up: $9,475.80.

Do you know the cost of love? OK, true love’s cost may be immeasurable, but the cost of romance scams totaled at least $304 million in 2020.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, says the Federal Trade Commission, because many victims of romance scams are embarrassed to come forward. 

One woman who did, Kate Kleinert, a widow in Pennsylvania, told the Senate Special Committee on Aging last month how she got caught up in a romance scam that cost her about $39,000 – and her pride.

After getting a friend request on Facebook in August 2020 from a man, Kleinert began corresponding with him on another app. “Tony” said he was working in Iraq on a contract with the United Nations and after he asked, she sent gift cards to him and his children.

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