They work around the clock, and will keep you up all night communicating, she says. The romance scammers often will steal a military member’s photo from social media sites or press releases, Grey says, and may even use the military member’s name in their online profiles.
“They get the victim in a fog so she’s no longer thinking clearly.” It’s not unusual for scammers to claim they’re in the military. Even senior Department of Defense leaders have had their identities stolen by these fraudsters.
If you’ve fallen victim to a romance scammer, here are some ways to start regaining control of your financial life.
File a complaint: Federal Trade Commission: Call 877-FTC-Help, or file a complaint online.
Western Union received at least 44,500 complaints about online dating and romance scams, with losses totaling at least $41 million, between 20, the FTC’s Todd Kossow says.
Amy Nofziger, regional director of the AARP Foundation, explained how a romance scam works: The scammer will often say he or she is from the United States, but is traveling or working overseas, and will quickly profess his or her love for you.
If you become suspicious of your scammer, the fraudster may threaten to send the video to your friends, family, workplace or church if you won’t send money. If the scammers do send the video, they won’t get any cash.