Lawrence County resident falls for $11,000 online romance scam - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Lawrence County resident falls for $11,000 online romance scam

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An online romance proved to be an expensive lesson for a person living in Lawrence County.

State police say a resident was tricked into handing out $11,400 to someone they met through social media.

A news release from state police does not reveal the gender, age, or even the community where the alleged victim lives.

Troopers say a scam artist convinced the victim to send four moneygrams totalling $8,900 to Walmart stores in other states for various contrived reasons.

In addition the victim was convinced to buy $2,500 worth of Apple iTune cards and text pictures of the validation numbers off all 25 cards to the scammer.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, millions of Americans use dating sites, social networking sites, and chat rooms to meet people.

Although many forge successful relationships, scammers also use these sites to meet potential victims.

They create fake profiles to build online relationships and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love. Some even make wedding plans before disappearing with the money.

An online love interest who asks for money is almost certainly a scam artist.

How to Recognize a Scam Artist

The relationship may not be what you think, especially if your sweetheart:

  • wants to leave the dating site immediately and use personal email or IM
  • claims love in a heartbeat
  • claims to be from the U.S., but is traveling or working overseas
  • plans to visit, but is prevented by a traumatic event or a business deal gone sour

Scammers also like to say they’re out of the country for business or military service.

What You Can Do About It

You may lose your heart, but you don’t have to lose your shirt, too. Don’t wire money to cover:

  • travel
  • medical emergencies
  • hotel bills
  • hospital bills for a child or other relative
  • visas or other official documents
  • or losses from a temporary financial setback

Don’t send money to tide someone over after a mugging or robbery, and don’t do anyone a favor by making an online purchase or forwarding a package to another country. One request leads to another, and delays and disappointments will follow. In the end, the money will be gone along with the person you thought you knew.

Report relationship scams to:

The website

The Federal Trade Commission

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center

Your state Attorney General

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