The Federal Trade Commission has released data that shows romance scams cost more money than other types of consumer fraud reported to the agency last year—and the problem is getting worse. Romance scammers target people through dating sites and apps or social media, often using fake profiles and sob stories to convince victims to send them large amounts of money.
The number of romance scams reported to the FTC increased from 8,500 in 2015 to 21,000 last year. Reported losses from these scams grew more than four times, from $33 million in 2015 to $143 million last year. The figures for 2018 are based on 21,368 reports submitted to FTC’s Consumer Sentinel, a database of consumer complaints.
Romance scams were particularly costly for individual victims. The median loss reported by romance scam victims was $2,600, or seven times higher than the median loss across other types of fraud. People between the ages of 40 to 69 reported losing money to romance scams at twice the rate of people in their 20s, but the elderly lost larger amounts, with victims aged 70 and over reporting the biggest median losses at $10,000.
The FTC says the majority of victims were asked to wire money, while the second largest group were asked to use gift or reload cards like Moneypak, which are all methods that are quick, usually difficult to reverse, and allow recipients to remain anonymous. Romance scammers often claim they need money for medical and other emergencies, and come up with excuses about why they can’t meet with their targets in person, for example claiming to be in the military and stationed abroad or not having enough funds to travel.
To prevent being victimized, the FTC suggests doing a reverse image search of profile photos to check if a profile is fake, not sending money to people you haven’t met in person, and being open with family and friends about online relationships.
Online dating is officially mainstream. “We met on Tinder” is the new “we met at a bar.”
Countless children have been born whose parents met via an online dating app like Match or eharmony. According to a survey conducted by popular wedding planning site The Knot, online dating is the most popular way that currently engaged couples met, up 5% in just two years.
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With so many options, it can be hard to know where to find the best crop of potential mates. Each of the dating apps out there has features that will matter differently to you depending on your lifestyle, what you want, and what’s most important to you. Looking for Mrs. Right? Or perhaps just Mr. Right Now? It’s helpful to know how each dating app is different so that you’re surrounding yourself with people who want the same thing as you. Read more…
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Hookup culture: Also known as the thing that has basically replaced real dating over the past 20 years or so, and the thing that your parents and grandparents bitch about because “nobody has a real conversation anymore.”
We all know that’s not true, however, and online dating has made a massive impact on more people meeting and talking than every before. And when we think dating sites, we usually think about sites like eharmony and Zoosk and other marriage-minded options. But not every single person is trying to participate in the next cuffing season.
Sometimes, you just wanna get laid.
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A police captain made some eyebrow-raising remarks about an increase in sexual assaults in a New York City neighborhood, according to an article published Friday.
His comments were so off-base, and they whipped up a storm of controversy so large, that the mayor’s office had to respond. So did the New York Police Department.
In comments reported by local news website DNAinfo New York, NYPD’s 94th precinct Capt. Peter Rose distinguished between “stranger rape” and “acquaintance rape,” lumping Tinder into the latter.
“They’re not total abomination rapes where strangers are being dragged off the streets … If there’s a true stranger rape, a random guy picks up a stranger off the street, those are the troubling ones. That person has, like, no moral standards,” he was as saying. Read more…
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