As Valentine’s Day approaches, Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona warns that Cupid’s arrow may be aimed directly at consumers’ wallets. Those who find themselves awash in love’s emotion should remember that con artists thrive on the fact that emotion can trump logic.
There are three categories of scams that we all should be aware of at this romantic season as well as throughout the year.
Their photo may be attractive and their story may sound compelling but that person you met through an online dating site may turn out to be the very opposite of your soul mate. Photos, profiles and stories can be easily faked on dating sites. One common tactic is to claim to be a successful overseas businessperson with no family.
After what seems like sincere conversation in which many questions are asked of you, the scammer can skillfully employ psychology to say precisely what you want to hear.
Once the ice is broken and a comfort level has been reached on your part, the heart of the matter is arrived at: they need financial assistance. They may want you to cash a check for them or otherwise help them out of a financial difficulty. It could be travel expenses, medical expenses or some other type of debt. At any rate it is your money less than your heart that they are after. MoneyGram, one of the major global money transfer companies, has estimated that romance scams defraud victims of over $10,000 for each occurrence. For those so victimized, whatever the amount, a website called romancescams.org can be helpful.
When love is in bloom many rely on the traditional symbol of thoughtfulness, the bouquet, to convey their feelings for that special person. But be aware that online florists are not always reliable. If the flowers that are actually received by your loved one are inferior arrangements from those ordered, or even not delivered at all, it can be a wilting experience. (more…)