Oil rig romance scams hit Florida

By Greg Collier

According to local news reports, a number of romance scam victims have come forward recently in the Orlando-area of Florida. If you’re not familiar with the romance scam, the scam targets older people who may be widows or widowers, or who don’t have a partner for whatever reason. The scammers will approach the victim on social media or through dating websites and apps. The supposed romantic interest will claim to either work in a remote location, possibly overseas, or they’re stationed overseas with the military. A romance scammer will never meet face to face with a victim including the avoidance of video chat apps like Skype and Zoom. The scammers will then continually ask the victims for money under the false pretense of some kind of emergency.

A 60-year-old woman from Florida, recently found herself out of $11,000 after falling for one of these scams. The scammer claimed to be working on an oil rig and used the profile picture of a somewhat famous actor but not someone as obvious as Brad Pitt or George Clooney. The woman allowed the scammer to deposit three supposed paychecks into her bank account so he could pay his daughter’s nanny back in Houston. After sending the payments to the supposed nanny, the woman’s bank discovered the checks were fake and since she used her own account she owed the bank that $11,000.

As we have said in the past, the romance scam is one of those scams that could victimize just about anyone. We have seen the scam hurt people from those who have refused to admit they were scammed, to CEOs who have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the scam. It can affect anyone from any economic or educational status. So, when you ask how could anybody be this dumb to fall for a romance scam, these people are not dumb in the least. They’re just in a vulnerable place in their life.

As always, if you think you or someone you know is the victim of an ongoing romance scam, please show them our posts on romance scams, or direct them to the FTC’s website about romance scam.