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“I was mortified,” she told reporters from the Toronto Star and CTV W-5. I thought, ‘This can’t be happening.’” Men have also been victimized. And as Leeman can attest, it’s a scam in which trust, vulnerability and a longing for love are heartlessly exploited.
In Vancouver, a gay man named Tony told CBC News that he had lost 0,000 to a man he met on an online dating site. “Scammers are trolling social media and dating sites for victims,” warns Eimiller.
He then blackmails the victim by threatening to release the videos or photos on Facebook or email unless she pays him off.
In another variation, the scammer “confesses” he is part of a scam to bilk people out of money, but insists he has fallen in love with the victim.
Leeman offered a loan to help out and wired him ,000, after which he vanished. Love can make you do anything.” Trolling for victims It's one of the oldest cons there is.
“The Internet makes this type of crime easy because you can pretend to be anybody you want to be,” FBI special agent Christine Beining, a fraud investigator in the Houston division, has declared.
“You can be anywhere in the world and victimize people.” And scammers are not just targeting the United States.
The romance scam has ballooned in recent years, according to Laura Eimiller, communications director for the FBI in Los Angeles.
In 2016, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received close to 15,000 reports of “romance scams,” amounting to more than 0 million in losses.