African Romance Scams
January 7, 2016
An increasing number of Americans are becoming victims of romance scams originating from West Africa.
Mollie Halpern: An increasing number of Americans are becoming victims of romance scams originating from West Africa.
Scammers use legitimate dating websites but fake personas to defraud people looking for love.
JD Shamwell is the legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana, who says some victims break the bank for their Internet interest.
JD Shamwell: A lot of these people just want to take a chance on love. And a lot of the times, unfortunately, they're just being defrauded.
Halpern: Romance scams are a type of crime categorized as confidence fraud.
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, saw a dollar loss of nearly $200 million from confidence frauds in 2015.
The number of losses between June and December 2015 is more than $27 million higher when compared to the same time the year before.
Shamwell: You should find it very peculiar, if not disturbing, if someone is asking you for any money within one or two conversations. That should be a red flag
Halpern: Report scams to ic3.gov. With FBI, This Week, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau.