Be wary of sending money to someone you have never met in person, especially via a wire transfer service like Western Union or Money Gram or a prepaid money card, like Green Dot.
Once a person wires money to a foreign country, the money is generally unrecoverable.
These criminals—who also troll social media sites and chat rooms in search of romantic victims—usually claim to be Americans traveling or working abroad. While their most common targets are women over 40 who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled, but every age group and demographic is at risk. You’re contacted online by someone who appears interested in you.
So you send money..rest assured the requests won’t stop there.
Con artists may express their “love” quickly and effusively, find similarities with the victim, and claim the online match was destiny.
This is all a build-up for the scam artist’s real goal: conning a victim out of money.
A scammer may beg for hundreds or thousands of dollars, claiming a family member became suddenly ill, he or she was robbed, or the person is having difficulty obtaining travel documents after spending all his or her money on a plane ticket to visit you.
A victim may even get a call from an accomplice who claims to be a lawyer or doctor to lend credibility to the tale.