SAN ANTONIO — Within the last nine months the San Antonio Field Office of the United States Secret Service has investigated
more than 60 romance related scams. What starts as a relationship on line may leave someone brokenhearted and broke.
There are fraudsters out there not after your heart, but your bank account.
The scammers after a victim’s personal and financial information.
“It’s very heartfelt when we can’t retrieve all of the money that a victim has lost, ” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Duran, with the San Antonio Secret Service Field Office.
Duran says the money tends to go into overseas accounts. “A lot of it we believe is associated with west African organized crime, ” added Duran.
The agent went on to say both men and women young and old are getting scammed. Sometimes the victim is someone you might not expect to fall victim.
“They are very well educated, it’s your lawyer, your doctor, your dentist, your engineer, ” said Duran.
The scam artist will give a good cover story, professing their admiration and love.
Duran says sometimes the scammer may be lurking on a legitimate dating website, so you have to be extra cautious.
In some cases romance scams go unreported because the victim is embarrassed to come forward.