Fbi internet dating scams

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In fact, these scams are such a significant problem that from October 2013 to February 2016 there were more than 17,600 reported victims suffering .3 billion in losses.

Bowdich said anyone can be duped, from older people such as Kathy who just want companionship, to young men who fall for photos of pretty girls to people in the LGBT community.

"Because a victim has legitimate feelings, they might be inclined to offer financial support for this person." For Best, it all started when she signed up for a free online dating site called mingle2.

A man calling himself "John" messaged her and through daily phone calls and messages on Facebook, he gained her trust.

But even now, 83-year-old Kathy thinks a civil engineer from Washington named Fred, who chatted her up online and promised marriage as long as she wired money to Malaysia, loves her.

“To this day, she does not consider herself to be a victim,” said Kathy’s son Dave Weil.

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