International Romantic scam: An elderly widower lost $ 200,000 in...

Romantic scam: An elderly widower lost $ 200,000 in Oregon

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The elaborate work it started with an unidentified person who stole the identity of a Florida woman, according to the Oregon Financial Regulation Division in a statement. The scammer then used the stolen identity to make friends with the 80-year-old widower through an online dating service, and it worked steal his heart and his money.

“For several months, the scammer convinced the old man to have a long-distance romantic relationship, and offered an opportunity to support an art gallery in Florida,” says the note. “The widower even received fabricated documents describing the contract with the museum and bank statements. Based on the documents and his love relationship, the victim made a series of payments over five months to various individuals and bank accounts. overseas for a total of over $ 200,000. “

While the Oregon Financial Regulation Division did not name the victim, he said he believed he was contributing a $ 5 million fee to ship a 500-ton marble lion sculpture from China. The swindler said the investments would be repaid along with a percentage of the profits from the sale of the sculpture.

Investigators have not been very successful in tracking down the scammer. Victims often transfer funds overseas or to third-party transfer agents, making it difficult to recover the money and identify the scammer, said Andrew Stolfi, director of the financial regulation division.

The Federal Trade Commission has warned that scams that prey on vulnerable people cost Americans more money than any other fraud reported to the agency. In 2018 alone, there were more than 21,000 people it involved sending $ 143 million in such schemes.
While scammers are particularly active on dating apps, they also prey on people on social media sites that aren’t generally used for dating, federal officials warn. Many scam victims said it started with a Facebook message, says FTC.

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