A latest internet crime report has found that elderly people in the country, are most vulnerable to romance scams. We, and when I say “we”, I mean “people who are not like me”. This is because I lost not a single dime to online dating since 2011.
But, I was fortunate enough to gain a nice, red umbrella on the very first date of mine. Initially, I believed I was dating sober, good people and so, accepted flowers, poems and even acknowledged the declarations of eternal love.
By the time the honeymoon was over, I was slapped with a bill of almost $50 million. That's the overall documented loss I incurred due to the 5,663 romance-centred complaints. Each victim, on an average, had to suffer a loss of $8,900.
Most of the victims, including me, usually bought airline tickets or just extended our helping hand to our new romantic flames.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a joint initiative of the US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, have shared the mainly US-centric figures.
In 2014, the IC3 was flooded with 15 romance scam-related complaints per day and reported a daily loss of approx $138,000, or over $5,700 an hour. So, how would you know, did the IC3 come up with such a data?
Basically, the IC3 has shared the data from its 2011 Internet Crime Report prepared on the basis of the massive complaints (314,246 number of complaints) registered with it in previous years.
Of all the registered complaints, around 115,903 of them were reported by victims claiming financial loss that totaled to a whopping $500 million.
The report further revealed that the IC3 officials review all complaints pertaining to a loss of above $100,000. Here, the IC3 officials accept complaints based on faith, even if a complainer has reported a loss of below $100,000.
That’s a lot of faith at stake! I too would follow suit and agree to the IC3’s figure on faith, barring the ones like the most occurring FBI-related scams, followed by identity theft and advance fee fraud. Still, the figures drawn up in its pie chart show the number of work-from-home scams to be 17,352, while FBI scams stood at 14,350. Such figures have shaken my faith and ruffled my logic to my wits end.
Any criminal entrepreneur should know about clubbing these money-making schemes and run multiple FBI romance scams simultaneously. Or better still, he/she could administer some work-from-home romance scams. This could spell out to be a great money-spinner after all.
Irrespective of the IC3’s mumbo-jumbo, there’s no denying the fact that people are being duped. This could be credit card, medical identity-thefts or cyber romance scams.
People are getting ripped off since they lead a lonely life, or may be due to the well-presented loan-intimation papers having precise information of the targets like an individual’s social security number or date of birth.
One of the most rampant kind of scams provides money to people for work-from-home assignments and a lot of times, cyber criminals use these people to ferry stolen funds from one location to another, just as a mule. Unfortunately, this sort of scams invite harshest of penalties from the authorities because victims, many times are prosecuted under criminal charges.
So, always watch your back when finding real love or companionship.