"They spend hours honing their skills and sometimes keep journals on their victims to better understand how to manipulate and exploit them." Meet in person Take a close look at your new friend's online profile picture. If so, it could be a stock photo, or a picture that a scam artist took from someplace else.
"The criminals who carry out romance scams are experts at what they do," the agency says.
Some scammers induce victims to share personal information or images and then threaten to post or distribute them to the friends, family members, and employers if the victim refuses to pay.
The following are some tips on how to protect yourself from being scammed and what to do if you become a victim: Pre-Paid Debit Card Scams For years, scammers have duped people into wiring money using wire services.
Today, scammers are increasingly asking people to pay money with reloadable, pre-paid debit cards How to Spot a Scam Scammers are constantly reinventing new ways to perpetrate old ploys.
Be wary of sending money to someone you have never met in person, especially via a wire transfer service, like Western Union or Money Gram, or a prepaid money card, like Green Dot.
Once a person wires money to a foreign country, the money is generally unrecoverable.
Once the victim becomes attached, the scammer looks for ways to dupe the person into sending money, which can happen in two basic ways.
In the first scenario, the scammer may indirectly ask for money.Online dating and romance scams are sophisticated operations that are typically conducted by criminal gangs.Con artists share information about victims and may target victims more than once.This leaves many victims not only embarrassed but also in financial distress.It is important for online users to be on the look-out for online dating and romance scams.The internet has revolutionized the world of dating, but it is also a new breeding ground for scams. One way to check is to do a reverse image search on Google. It will allow you to either upload the profile photo or paste it directly from the web site.