Internet dating money laundering scams

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congressman had been used by fraudsters to ensnare a victim. A compelling profile triggers an online discussion that starts innocently enough.

Images sent will of course be faked, captured from social media or other online sites.

These are crooks who befriend a man or woman to establish a romantic or platonic relationship, and then abuse this to request money on various pretenses -- such as for airfare to visit, for bail after being imprisoned, legal fees, and other.

But now, the FBI is warning that romance scammers active on online dating scams are changing their schemes, and instead of requesting money, they are recruiting victims to become money mules, and that this practice is becoming very popular."Actors groom their victims over time and convince them to open bank accounts under the guise of sending or receiving funds," the FBI said.

The con works something like this: You post a dating profile and up pops a promising match — good-looking, smart, funny and personable.

This potential mate claims to live in another part of the country or to be abroad for business or a military deployment.

The FBI has issued a warning for Americans to be wary of "confidence/romance scams," after the Bureau saw a 70% annual rise in reported fraud, where dating sites were used to trick victims into sending money, purchasing items or even laundering or muling money for people met online. Department of Defense warning about "online predators on dating sites claiming to be deployed active-duty soldiers." The U. military says there are now "hundreds of claims each month from people who said they've been scammed on legitimate dating apps and social media sites—scammers have asked for money for fake service-related needs such as transportation, communications fees, processing and medical fees—even marriage."This warning relates to dating sites, but the use of Facebook as a means of executing the same types of romance scams has also become widespread. But then the fraudster will start to spin a story, perhaps there isa medical or legal emergency, stolen wallets, a loss of employment—or perhaps a sick relative our a child that has gotten into trouble. Perhaps the trickster is "visiting" overseas and needs an item purchased from the U. The initial phase of the scam can last for days, weeks, even months.

The shift from basic fraud to money laundering is a significant worry for U. law enforcement and represents a nasty twist in the age-old problem of romance scams. business owners seeking assistance with lucrative investments."These crimes can target all types of victims, but elderly women—especially those widowed—are especially vulnerable. There can be significant numbers of messages and images exchanged. Dating sites have proven rewarding hunting grounds for fraudsters.

Over weeks or months you feel yourself growing closer.A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. adults consider online dating a good way to meet people, and Match.com, one of the most popular dating sites, says people 50 and older represent its fastest-growing share of users.But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts.Never send money to someone you meet online, especially by wire transfer.Never provide credit card numbers or bank account information without verifying the recipient’s identity. congressman had been used by fraudsters to ensnare a victim. A compelling profile triggers an online discussion that starts innocently enough.

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