"Through google and other apps you can right click on their profile photos and see if that comes up elsewhere with other people's names, says prosecuting attorney Dan Patterson".
The BBB of Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains, Southwest Iowa wants people to know that online criminals are targeting people older than age of 50 looking for relationships.
"They pick out their victims to see which ones are going through relationship troubles, widowed, recent divorce, breakups, and they go after them", explained Archocosky.
The BBB says there could be 25,000 scammers talking to victims at any one time. She spoke to The Omaha World-Herald on the condition that she not be named.
To attract women, men will oftentimes claim to be financially successful and often single fathers in need of help, while women will often attempt to attract men by claiming to be young, attractive and in need of financial assistance, the report said.
"Even mentioned something to my mom and sister, saying 'hey, this guy is really cool, I think I really like him, '" Haynes explained.
Johnson is now focused on sharing her story and moving forward. She was able to stop the wire transfer and recouped all but $76 in gift cards. He claimed his paychecks were being held up because he owed taxes, but that once he received them, he'd pay her back for everything.
The FBI is advising people to stop communicating with anyone who seems suspicious and to report their behavior to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Their excuse may sound reasonable but it is usually a lie. She also took $170,000 out of her investment portfolio. "Rather be safe than sorry", he said. "It was all a fantasy", she said.
Victims rarely speak out because they are humiliated and embarrassed they fell for the scam, the BBB said. Romance scammers pilfered more than $230 million in 2016 alone, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says. Many scammers use online dating sites, social media, email or a simple phone call. They meet victims, interact with them and quickly try to get them to move to a different form of communication such as email or texting.
There is love in the air, but there are also those who are trying to steal more than your heart. Then, once offender gets you to trust them they begin asking for money. These can be quite elaborate stories involving children, fake documents or fake websites.