For Richer Or Poorer? Romance Scams Are Leaving More Online Daters Broke

For Richer Or Poorer? Romance Scams Are Leaving More Online Daters Broke
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Stories like this rarely end well.

The ideal partner turns out to be a sophisticated scam artist, and a love-struck single is left not only broken-hearted — but broke.

Being scammed by a romantic interest met online is now the most common type of consumer fraud in the United States, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In 2018, nearly 40 D.C. residents reported falling for online dating scams, for a combined loss of more than $92,000. And the criminal acts go beyond city and state borders, involving networks of accomplices overseas.

“These victims are invested in that relationship and they’re emotional when that person does ask for money,” says Kevin Luebke, a supervisory special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). “Usually they’re told that something sudden happened where [the offender] needs money now and that [victim] doesn’t have time to reason or ask friends.”

How Much Money Was Lost To Dating Scams

This is how much money victims of dating scams reported losing. Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. are not in the top five.

1. California – $450,482,128
2. New York – $201,090,065
3. Texas – $195,611,047
4. Florida – $178,141,470
5. North Carolina – $137,230,988
15. Maryland – $47,180,259
17. Virginia – $43,792,436
35. D.C. – $8,899,830

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