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Love Fraud

Love Fraud (a.k.a. Romance Scams) targets victims, mainly women, using long and intricate emotional cons. Typically, these criminals find their victims through social media, but there have been many notable in-person romance scams. Romance scams usually entail large financial damages to victims and often considerable psychological damage too. In addition, Love Fraud often causes financial injury to family members and friends as well as financial institutions. In Oklahoma, in 2019, the average size of financial loss due to Love Fraud per victim was over $70,000. Romance scammers emotionally subdue and defraud women through social engineering tactics that are often even resistant to family and friends interventions. 


Small movements of women, throughout the world, have not let Love Fraud go unexposed. They are uniting in the most inspiring ways to expose the large criminal syndicates committing these frauds.


1. Secure Women intends to unite these leaders and grow these disparate movements by providing movement-building guidance from experts.

2. Secure Women intends to connect these leaders with law enforcement, social media companies, effected financial institutions and governments worldwide and map out a game plan on combatting this growing crime.


Love Fraud Prevention

The criminals who carry out romance scams are experts at what they do. They hone their skills and sometimes keep journals on their victims to better understand how to manipulate and exploit them. They even refer to their victims as "clients", indicating how professionalized and lucrative this crime has become.  


“Behind the veil of romance, it’s a criminal enterprise like any other,” said FBI Special Agent, Christine Beining. “And once a victim becomes a victim, in that they send money, they will often be placed on what’s called a ‘sucker list,’ ” she said. “Their names and identities are shared with other criminals, and they may be targeted in the future.” ​


To stay safe online, be careful what you post, because scammers can use that information against you. Always use reputable websites, but assume that con artists are trolling even the most reputable dating and social media sites. If you develop a romantic relationship with someone you meet online, consider the following: ​


1. Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the material has been used elsewhere.


2. Go slow and ask lots of questions.

3. Beware if the individual seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or Facebook to go “offline.”

4. Beware if the individual attempts to isolate you from friends and family or requests inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used to extort you.

5. Beware if the individual promises to meet in person but then always comes up with an excuse why he or she can’t. If you haven’t met the person after a few months, for whatever reason, you have good reason to be suspicious.

6. Never send money to anyone you don’t know personally.


“If you don’t know them, don’t send money,” Beining said. “You will see what their true intentions are after that.” Criminals who commit romance fraud trawl through profiles and piece together information such as wealth and lifestyle, in order to manipulate their victims


Law Enforcement can investigate, but often cannot get the money back. It is very simple for fraudsters to cover their tracks by masking IP addresses and using unregistered phone numbers.


Never send money to someone online you have never met. Think twice about posting personal information which could be used to manipulate, track or bribe you. 


FBI Info on Love Fraud

FBI Special Agent Christine Beining Describes Love Fraud

FBI Interview with a Victim of Love Fraud

Love Fraud Advocate and Lawyer Describes Techniques of Love Fraud Scammers and the Impact on Victims

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