Romance scams plague UK: 200,000 victims
September 30, 2011
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Research out of the UK today says that perhaps as many as 200,00 people in that country have been victims of online romance scams and the same study says over 1 million people personally know someone who has been scammed by one of these heartless fraudsters.
The online research was conducted by the UK’s University of Leicester found that 52% of people surveyed online had heard of the online romance scam when it was explained to them and that one in every 50 online adults know someone personally who had fallen victim to it. The results confirm the law enforcement belief that this type of crime is often not reported by those affected, in many cases due to embarrassment at having been duped, or through a continuing hope that there will eventually be a genuine romance, the study found.
According to the FBI’s IC3, scammers use poetry, flowers, and other gifts to reel in victims, the entire time declaring their “undying love.” These criminals also use stories of severe life circumstances, tragedies, deaths in the family, injuries to themselves, or other hardships to keep their victims concerned and involved in their schemes. Scammers also ask victims to send money to help overcome a financial situation they claim to be experiencing. These are all lies intended to take money from unsuspecting victims, the IC3 says.
The romance scam is particularly cruel in that perpetrators spend long periods of time grooming their victims, working out their vulnerabilities and when the time is right to ask for money…
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