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For instance, some romance scammers express concern about their financial situation or ability to visit the victim in the hopes that a person will offer to send funds.

Maria deposited the check and sent the money, but was soon contacted by her bank, which told her the check was bad and she had to repay the $4,500.

On top of losing her money, the fake “Andrew” disappeared, and Maria never heard from him again. The scammer may use photos from magazines and portray himself or herself as talented and successful. citizen working or serving abroad, or give a similar excuse to explain their inability to meet in person.

Whether you're contacted by phone, mail, email, text, or in-person, the following tips provide advice on how to spot a scam.

Seniors' Guide to Fighting Fraud This guide will inform you about the common scams aimed at seniors and the steps consumers can take to thwart the swindlers.

It can happen like this: “Maria” signed up for an online dating service and was contacted by “Andrew,” who claimed to be an American overseas on business in Australia.

Maria and Andrew seemed to hit it off and began planning a road trip for that summer when Andrew would come back to the U. Andrew sent Maria a check for ,000 to cover the cost of their trip, but then suddenly asked her to send ,500 back to him because he needed money for rent after being laid off from his job.

(Okay, online dating was a bit unheard of at the time, but that’s no excuse for a psychic, right?

)I have married, engaged, and/or otherwise spoken-for friends who swear by online dating. After a couple of years on various free and paid online dating sites, I was beyond frustrated with the men I encountered there.

Online dating and romance scams are sophisticated operations that are typically conducted by criminal gangs.

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