Widows lose thousands in romance scams

Widows lose thousands in romance scams

The saying goes that love is blind and nothing exhibits that phrase more than romance scams. In most romance scams, the scammer will pose as someone on dating apps or social media who is romantically interested in their victim. They’ll foster an online-only relationship for months in an attempt to convince the victim that the scammer is in love with them. Romance scammers will keep the charade up before asking their victims for large sums of money. The requests for money are usually disguised as some kind of emergency payment that the scammer needs right away. If the victim makes an initial payment, the scammer will continue to ask for more money as long as the victim will pay. We have seen reports where victims have lost hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars.

Two widows in two different parts of the country have come forward with their stories. Both lost thousands of dollars in separate romance scams with one of the victims losing something more valuable than money.

The first victim is a widow from Georgia who met someone on a dating site. He would call her several times a day and even send her flowers. He claimed to be an engineer from Florida who just so happened to be working in Canada. He claims that a machine needed for his work is broken and he needs $15,000 for repairs. The scammer even got another person to verify his story. She ended up using money from her late husband’s life insurance policy before realizing she had been scammed.

Another widow from West Virginia was taken in a similar scam but she didn’t just lose money, she also lost her home. She also met someone on a dating site but this scammer said they were from America but living overseas. This scammer claimed they wanted to come home to America but needed money to do so. Before it was all over, the scammer had asked for $20,000 which she paid. Unfortunately because of this, she ended up losing her home and having to move in with a relative.

As we keep stressing, this scam could happen to anyone regardless of age, education, or economic status. If you or someone you know is involved with someone online that you haven’t met face to face yet, you should be very suspicious if they start asking for money. If you think someone you know may be the target of a romance scam, please show them the FTC’s website about romance scams and/or our posts about romance scams.