ESL Viewpoint, for Readers of English as a Second Language, by Manuel R. Arocho.

Love Scams on the Rise

There is a new scam on the Internet for those looking for love in all the wrong places. Criminals are trying to trick people by using old love letters and romantic language. Con men can easily buy “scam packs” to help them trick would be daters into their scam. The pack is available online and only costs a few dollars. It includes love letter templates, photos, videos and false identities. This is all that is needed to pretend to be someone looking for love. The criminals pose as potential partners and contact people seeking romance on dating sites. After a period of correspondence, they start asking their victim for money.

Love scams are a new way to trick the lovelorn into giving money.

They use many different kinds of excuses and reasons why they need money. The police force in London reported 3,900 people being scammed online in 2016. The average amount of money they lost was $12,500. The average age of the victims was 59 years old. More women than men were scammed, with 61 per cent of the victims being female. A senior police officer described the damage the scams do to victims. He said: “These crimes destroy lives and the emotional damage often far outweighs the financial loss. He advised people against giving strangers money. He said: “Never give money to people you meet online, no matter what emotional sob story the person uses.” He added that to be safe, people should always be on their guard when communicating with a stranger online.

Sources: ibtimes.co.uk / bbc.com / thesun.co.uk

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