Attorney General Josh Shapiro Warns Pennsylvanians of On The Web Romance Scams

AG Shapiro: “Don’t let scammers steal your cash or your heart this Valentine’s Day.”

HARRISBURG — On Valentine’s Day, Attorney General Josh Shapiro is warning Pennsylvanians of romance scammers whom entice individuals into online relationships, then ask for cash and scam them. On line love frauds, often called “catfishing,” are increasingly place that is taking Pennsylvania and over the usa.

“Scam designers will always attempting brand new how to cheat individuals from their hard-earned money,” Attorney General Shapiro stated. “These crooks utilize every ruse that is online to obtain xmatch visitors to allow their guard down and take their funds or private information — including tricking them into thinking these are typically in love. We’ve seen Pennsylvanians looking for relationships online lose a lot more than $100,000 to those catfishing frauds. Don’t let scammers steal your hard earned money or your heart this Valentine’s Day.”

Two Pennsylvanians who have been harmed in online relationship frauds and whom filed complaints aided by the Attorney General’s Bureau of customer Protection are telling their tales to greatly help other state residents don’t be harmed.

Peggy Cimorelli, of Skippack, Montgomery County, had been victimized by way of a love scam musician.

“I became interacting with a man online and within the phone for just two and a years that are half” Cimorelli stated. “He said he had been a vehicle dealer and that he traveled a great deal for work. I was asked by him for money for rooms in hotels, routes and present cards. Finally, he scammed me personally away from significantly more than $49,000. I will be 72 years old. I really hope that sharing my story will even help prevent one woman like myself from being scammed.”

Another scam that is local, Doris Orta, of Bethlehem, had a certain message for seniors searching for love on the web.

“I am 78 years old and were alone for 26 years,” Orta stated. “The first-time we utilized a dating internet site, we came across an individual who we thought we possibly could trust along with of my own information. He scammed me personally away from $5,300. I am outraged that someone would make the most of me personally in this way. We thank Attorney General Shapiro additionally the Bureau of customer Protection to take my claim therefore seriously and improving to safeguard customers like myself.”

Since Attorney General Shapiro took workplace a year ago, their Bureau of Consumer Protection has gotten at the least a dozen complaints linked to online romance scams. The Bureau of customer Protection thinks most victims are too embarrassed and harmed in the future ahead after they’ve been scammed to register complaints, and Attorney General Shapiro is urging Pennsylvanians to contact his Bureau of customer Protection to research their instances.

“I would like to hear away from you in the event that you’ve been harmed by an on-line relationship scam,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Pennsylvanians who think they’ve been victimized should e-mail us at scams@attorneygeneral.gov or call my Bureau of customer Protection at 800-441-2555.”

The FBI reports that online relationship scam victims destroyed $220 million in 2016, in addition to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that lots of people fall target to scams that are such 12 months. Numerous scammers claim they truly are from the nation because of service that is military company, the FTC claims.

Attorney General Shapiro therefore the Bureau of customer Protection have methods for visitors to start thinking about before pursuing relationships online. Be skeptical in the event that individual they meet online:

Attorney General Shapiro cautioned customers not to ever wire, send or deposit cash or present cards for:

Victims can report a love scammer into the workplace of Attorney General, the dating that is online where you came across, the Federal Trade Commission or the FBI’s online Crime Complaint Center.