Love And Money: A Warning About Internet Romance

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has posted some advice for those seeking love in all the wrong places (like on the Internet).

In a sentence: “don’t send cash.”

“… scammers sometimes use online dating and social networking sites to try to convince people to send money in the name of love. In a typical scenario, the scam artist creates a fake profile, gains the trust of an online love interest, and then asks that person to wire money—usually to a location outside the United States,” the agency said.

Here is the FTC list of warning signs that your online paramour might have more of a financial than emotional interest you:

  • Wanting to leave the dating site immediately and use personal e-mail or IM accounts
  • Claiming instant feelings of love
  • Claiming to be from the United States but currently overseas
  • Planning to visit, but being unable to do so because of a tragic event
  • Asking for money to pay for travel, visas or other travel documents, medication, a child or other relative’s hospital bills, recovery from a temporary financial setback, or expenses while a big business deal comes through
  • Making multiple requests for more money.

“FTC Warns Consumers About Online Dating Scams” here.

Ya know, I’ve been wondering why that woman with a really stunning Facebook picture and about 150 affluent-looking European men as “friends” contacted me out of the blue and wanted to be buddies.

I somehow suspected she wasn’t a pen pal type.

Tom Kelchner is Research Center Manager at Sunbelt Software. Tom is a communications professional with extensive background in computer security, anti-virus application testing and computer virus analysis. He is a former daily newspaper reporter and deputy press secretary to governor of Pennsylvania.