A woman from the Midwest was scammed out of a half a million dollars to a romance scammer. She’s not alone according to Jessie Schmidt from the Better Business Bureau. Many of the scammers start on popular dating sites and provide similar stories and claim to be in the Military or working overseas doing contract work.
One man who romanced a woman in Lincoln Nebraska for four months, describing his life as a United State Citizen living in South Africa as a diamond broker. After winning the trust and love of the woman, he described a scenario of his funds being tied up in a Florida bank account and asked her for short term help paying to import the diamonds, which would be refunded after the Florida money was free. It was the quick eye of those in customs who saw the women about to pay duty fees that alerted her to the scam. Unfortunately a portion of the money was sent.
Schmidt says it’s not gullible women who are falling victim to the romance scam. They are well educated and are familiar with social media and online dating, but may be just a little older and are not aware of the benefits of doing an online search of their love interest. Another benefit is to do a reverse search of profile pictures with a google reverse search.
Several women in the Midwest have lost up to a quarter of a million dollars each, and in North America, romance scammers have taken a billion dollars in the last 3-5 years.