These schemes involve an email or phone call from someone purporting to have a romantic interest in the victim, who they met in a chat room or dating website. After gaining rapport, the fraudster asks the victim to send money, or tells the victim they’re in a foreign country and have a check or money order in U.S. dollars they can’t cash. They may claim to have a medical emergency or other problem, or promise to come to the U.S. to be with the victim, but need a check or money order cashed to cover expenses.
The Internet offers many wonderful opportunities for people. You can learn so much, but you also have to be savvy when it comes to some of those opportunities. This is especially true when it comes to social media or sites where you can meet people. Whether you are young or old, there are plenty of legitimate online sites out there.
Unfortunately, as so often happens, there are also those who take advantage of people searching those sites. They create sites that promise opportunity, happiness or whatever a person is looking for, but deliver none of it. And, in the process, manage to convince you to send money to help with some type of emergency.
As with any offer, do your homework. Check it out. Don't send money to someone you really don't know. It's been said that love is blind. But be sure to keep your eyes open for scammers!
Remember, if the U.S. Mail was used in a crime, even if the crime began on the Internet, phone, or in person, report it to U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455, or at postalinspectors.uspis.gov.