Internet dating money laundering scams

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A Pew Research Center study revealed that nearly 60 percent of U. adults consider online dating a good way to meet people, and, one of the most popular dating sites, says people 50 and older represent its fastest-growing share of users.

But seeking romantic bliss online can have a major downside: Cyberspace is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts.

The shift from basic fraud to money laundering is a significant worry for U. law enforcement and represents a nasty twist in the age-old problem of romance scams. business owners seeking assistance with lucrative investments."These crimes can target all types of victims, but elderly women—especially those widowed—are especially vulnerable. There can be significant numbers of messages and images exchanged. Dating sites have proven rewarding hunting grounds for fraudsters.

You make plans to meet in person, but for your new love something always comes up. There’s an emergency (a medical problem, perhaps, or a business crisis), and your online companion needs you to wire money quickly.

He or she will promise to pay it back, but that will never happen.

The noteworthy here is the use of online dating sites, according to a public service announcement issued by the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Groups who recruit money mules (a term used to describe a person who launders money for criminal groups) have been active in the past, but they usually employed different tricks and rarely operated via dating sites.

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