Romance fraud: Looking for love in wrong place proves costly


Romance scams reached a record high in 2021, increasing by nearly 80% from 2020, according to a report from the US Federal Trade Commission. — dpa

FALLS CHURCH, Virginia: For the victim, a 78-year-old man from Annandale, it started with an effort to find some companionship. He created an account on a social network called iFlirt, then made contact with someone identifying herself as a widowed woman in her 30s who seemed interested.

As the online relationship grew, though, the scam started to emerge. The woman, who claimed to be from New York, said she was arrested while travelling to Germany to retrieve an inheritance of gold bars, and needed money to make bail. The man paid it, only to get another message that she was arrested a second time and needed even more money.

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