Scammers are posing as a love interest for those seeking companionship online in Michigan and around the country. Seniors are an increasingly favorite catfishing target. This trend, known as Romance Scams, cost 70,000 people a 1.3 billion dollars in 2022 according to the Federal Trade Commission.

In most cases a dating profile is created and someone who looks to good to be true replies. They shower their new match with affection and almost instantly ask to take communication off the dating app and into a private messenger or text.

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These new love interests often live far away and are extremely attentive. The Romance Scammer will make the victim feel needed and appreciated. Then suddenly there will be an emergency that requires cryptocurrency, gift cards or some other untraceable method of payment. Here are the top lies told by Romance Scammers, in Michigan and around the country, to get you or your loved ones to send them funds:

Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash
Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash
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I'm in jail or my (son, daughter, sister, brother) is in jail.

Photo by Frederic Köberl on Unsplash
Photo by Frederic Köberl on Unsplash
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I'm sick or my (son, daughter, sister, brother) is in sick.

These two lies represented 24% of the cases reported to the FTC in 2022.

Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash
Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash
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I can teach you how to invest.

The promise of increasing they're victims wealth was 18% of the reported scams.

Photo by Chuanchai Pundej on Unsplash
Photo by Chuanchai Pundej on Unsplash
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I'm in the military.

Establishing trust with stolen valor is a favorite technique for predators and represented 18% of FTC Romance Scam reports in 2022.

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Yu Hosoi on Unsplash
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I need help with a delivery.

 

According to the AARP, this tactic is often used by international gangs to illegally smuggle money. This 'money mule' crime was 18% of the cases reported to the FTC in 2022.

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash
Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash
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We've never met in person, but let's talk about marriage.

What better way to get someone to talk about their most intimate details, both personal and financial, than to discuss marriage? This tactic was 12% of reported cases.

Photo by Zlaťáky.cz on Unsplash
Photo by Zlaťáky.cz on Unsplash
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I've come in to some money or gold.

In 7% of reported cases, the con involves needing to swap the gold out for cryptocurrency, gift cards or other untraceable financial transaction.

Photo by Arvind Vallabh on Unsplash
Photo by Arvind Vallabh on Unsplash
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I'm on an oil rig.

In 6% of cases, the criminal claimed to on an oil rig, unable to help a loved one or similar situation. The claims are based on the isolation such work provides.

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash
Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash
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You can trust me with your private pictures.

In 3% of cases reported to the FTC in 2022 the scammer would ask for explicit photos of their victim and use them to extort money with the threat of showing them to family, friends or colleagues.

If you suspect you or someone you love has been or is currently the victim of a 'Romance Scammer', go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov. For cases of extortion, you should contact the FBI.

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