Her whole relationship with Eric was a scheme to get money out of her.This story is fictional, but the scenario is all too real.He needed money in a hurry or he’d be thrown out of the country just a few months shy of earning his degree.Candace wired him the small sum without hesitation – but when he contacted her a few weeks later saying he needed a much bigger sum to pay legal bills, she realized she was being scammed.According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), online romance or confidence scams are a fast-growing type of Internet crime.
Instead, the scammer continues to string the victim along with more requests for money, sometimes keeping up the fraud for years.Unfortunately, they couldn’t meet in person because he was studying overseas, but they talked and texted every day.Then one day Eric called in a panic, saying his passport had been stolen.And that number may only represent a fraction of the real total.According to Huff Post, FBI agents believe roughly 85% of all romance scams are never reported because the victims are too embarrassed to come forward.Scammers’ favorite victims are: The people who fall for romance scams aren’t the only victims. soldiers are particularly likely to be targeted, since being deployed overseas gives scammers a good excuse for not being able to meet their love interests in person. For several years, he’s been receiving angry e-mails, Facebook messages, and sometimes even personal visits from women who claim he broke their hearts and took their money.Scammers can also cause a lot of trouble for the people – usually men – whose images they steal to create their fake identities. Also, the image of a strong soldier protecting his country tends to appeal to women seeking love online. Many of them refuse to believe he isn’t the man they fell in love with and have begged him to continue a relationship that never existed.Often, they work with accomplices who pose as friends, doctors, lawyers, or other people who can back up their story.Scammers typically ask their victims for money in a form that’s hard to trace, such as a prepaid card or a wire transfer.To make this kind of money, romance scammers often have multiple victims on the hook at once.Huff Post cites a case in which a single person was working 25 online romance scams at once, posing as both men and women.