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Over the past six months, our sex crimes defense law firm has taken hundreds of calls from prospective clients in southern California who share a similar story. The adult person contacted a younger person online, typically someone he or she had first communicated with through a dating app or website.
Recent reports of quarantine-based scams have included unemployment benefits identity theftIRS stimulus check scamsand now dating app scams and COVID romance scams.
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Remember, there is no plausible excuse why someone would need to reach out for money from someone they have not met in person. They begin a lengthy, personal conversation, one that contains an extremely high, frequent amount of discussion. Unfortunately, scammers are also putting in overtime to take advantage of the current situation. Following through with the money earns the victim even more of the attention they crave.
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From there, more requests for money could follow, even as the scammer continues to string along victims with promises of long-term relationships. Stay informed with alerts, newsletters, and notifications from the Identity Theft Resource Center. Sponsors and Partners.
The scammer may ask the victim to pay the money with the promise that they will be paid back immediately. Hesitating or refusing earns them the silent treatment. People should protect themselves from these and other scams by learning to spot the warning s and distancing themselves if any red flags appear. Even before the virus, the reason usually had to do with boredom and isolation, which are abundant right now.
The sympathy mentioned above goes directly into the request for funds. In order for consumers to protect themselves from COVID romance scams and other scamsconsumers have to be aware of the threat and spot the telltale s. Romance scams rely on a formulaic model, namely an individual who reaches out on social media, via text message or some other electronic method.
One example could be a story about a terrible incident that has occurred and the scammer even has the funds to fix it, but they cannot access their money in time to fix the issue. The request for money.
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Scammers are increasing the amount of romance scams with more people on dating apps due to isolation. Romance scams are a vicious cycle of flattery and compliments combined with plausible requests for money. If the scammer poses as an out-of-work employee, a victim might help a single parent buy groceries for their child.
Fortunately, while the other virus-related scams may be hard to spot due to the fact that they are based on actual current events, avoiding a COVID romance scam might be a little bit easier. While these have always been a known threat, newsworthy events like the COVID pandemic often lead to an increase in scam activity.
A job or location that prevents them from communicating on a regular basis. Contact itrc idtheftcenter. Again, before the virus, those jobs often included occupations like off-shore oil rig worker, deep-sea fishing boat captain or deployed soldier. If they do not have internet access, they can call toll-free at Blog - Latest News. While people continue to take protective measures in order to avoid COVIDsome groups are actively working harder.
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The cat-and-mouse game. Right now there are probably a lot of people who would help a nurse or medic purchase masks and gloves, and who has not heard the reports of price gouging and scarcity.
A sympathetic story. It is important that consumers know the s: A plausible reason why the person is reaching out to strangers. Due to COVID, it is just as easy to blame the virus, especially if the person claims to be a hospital worker, medic or another essential employee.