Lonely Hearts Scam

How to Avoid Being Scammed

  1. Keep all personal and financial information private and protected until you are absolutely certain about someone's trustworthiness.
  2. Don't lend money, credit card info, or personal possessions unless you are prepared for the risk.
  3. When a suitor increases his or her demands, it’s a surefire sign you’re being set up. All is not fair in love and war!

Scheme Information

What is a Lonely Hearts Scam?

Charity Fraud

"A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigned romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud."
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Charity Fraud

Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victims' money, bank accounts, credit cards, or passports, etc.

Charity Fraud

In an effort to encourage online dating services to take steps to better keep their customers safe the Fraud Watch Network at AARP issued a call to action urging the industry to adopt more stringent verification and fraud-fighting technologies.

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.