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For every reported incident there will be others where victims don't come forward. If the account is flagged by the financial institution, it may be closed and the actor will either direct the victim to open a new account or begin grooming a new victim."Unsurprisingly, the advice here is the same as for most cyber crime.

In particular the FBI warns, threat actors "often use online dating sites to pose as U. Try to keep a level of cynicism and keep trusting natures in check.

One good idea is to message them on a social media site and not only on the dating site or by Whats App or other messaging services.

Never share your Social Security number or other personally identifiable information."If you think you have been the victim of such a fraud, or if you are in the midst of an online engagement that might not be real, you can contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center or FBI at  gov/contact-us/field."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.

Never provide credit card numbers or bank account information without verifying the recipient’s identity.

In 2018, more than 18,000 complaints were received with losses totalling more than $362 million. And by this time victims have bought into the potential of a relationship—they are extremely susceptible and guards have been dropped. What is a new twist is the involvement of international criminal networks, using dating sites to recruit money mules or to encourage victims to set up bank accounts through which dirty money can be laundered.

And, to state the obvious, this is likely the tip of the iceberg. One example given by the FBI is where a fraudster pretends to be a U. citizen living abroad who asks for money to come to the U. The FBI warns that such grooming is intended to set up accounts "used to facilitate criminal activities for a short period of time.

The FBI advises reverse image searches as a way to check—in reality, this is easier said than done.

But if the fraudster cannot be found on social media, if the social media sites do not look genuine then take care.Never share your Social Security number or other personally identifiable information."If you think you have been the victim of such a fraud, or if you are in the midst of an online engagement that might not be real, you can contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center or FBI at gov/contact-us/field.Police in Georgia are looking for a man they say met a woman through an online dating site, agreed to marry her within a week, scammed her out of ,000, and then left town and cut off all contact with her.But after she transferred the money to Hill, he vanished and ceased all contact with her, the report said.Investigators later discovered that Hill lived with another woman and a child in a Duluth apartment, and that he had gone by various names — changing it five times in less than three years — while allegedly pulling similar trickery in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.Gwinnett police encourage anyone knowing Hill's whereabout to contact their detectives at 770-513-5300.

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