*Names have been changed to protect identities En español She wrote him first. In the summer, when the trees leafed out, you couldn't even see the road or the neighbors. She'd grown up here, in a conservative pocket of Virginia. When it came to meeting new people, however, her choices were limited. The holidays were coming, and she didn't want to face them alone.
A short message sent on a Thursday evening in early December 2013, under the subject line: Match? She signed up for a six-month subscription to Match.com, the largest and one of the oldest dating services on the Web.
Her new boyfriend had a complicated backstory: He was an American soldier serving in Iraq, and he had a son living in Ghana.
But she had revealed to her new online beau how much she wanted children, and soon his 14-year-old son was emailing her.
“Scam artists will pretend to be someone they’re not,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike De Wine, in a news release on Thursday.
“They’ll start to communicate with a person online, and they’ll forge an emotional connection.
Upon finding victims, scammers lure them to more private means of communication, (such as providing an e-mail address) to allow for fraud to occur.
They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.At some point, they’ll start asking for money.” The Ohio Attorney General’s Office received about 60 complaints for “romance” or “sweetheart” scams in 2016. Other people said they spent as much as 0,000 over the course of years.De Wine’s office said these scammers often claim to be soldiers, oil rig workers or heirs to large inheritance, and send photos to prove their identity.According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, online romance scams account for higher financial losses than any other internet-based crime.It’s not uncommon for victims to lose tens of thousands of dollars.