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An AARP study he co-authored last year found that Internet fraud victims had experienced significantly more negative life events in the previous two years than non-victims.Navigating Web dating's rough shoals: e Harmony CEO A 53-year-old grandmother from California recently learned how these confidence men (and women) play on the vulnerabilities of lonely singles.Romance scams cost nearly 5,900 victims more than .7 million last year, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.And state and federal agencies have shut down several large romance scams in recent months, including a case in which two South Africans and a Canadian were extradited to the U. on charges of bilking hundreds of Americans of millions of dollars through romance scams and other financial fraud schemes.First he said his laptop broke and asked Joanna to ship a new one.
Although older adults are often targeted — more than three-quarters of complaints to federal agencies came from people 40 and older — fraud experts say people of all ages and backgrounds can fall prey to romance scams.
A car accident was followed by other emergencies that prevented him from coming home — and led to requests for more cash.
The spell finally broke when Joanna demanded that John show his face on a webcam.
And it allows victims to claim the loss on their taxes. I wish I had listened to the Romance Scams support group," Joanna said. thousands of dollars." The best protection, experts say, is to cut off contact as soon as a prospective date acts suspiciously (see below for tips on spotting red flags).
Today Joanna advises others to do their research on potential dates, but most importantly to pay attention to their gut instincts. Because once they forge a bond with you — which can happen surprisingly fast — it can be very hard to break free.
AARP is collecting signatures on an online petition calling on dating sites to take stronger steps to protect customers.