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Watch out for ‘sweetheart’ scams this Valentine’s time

Watch out for ‘sweetheart’ scams this Valentine’s time

NASHVILLE – With Valentine’s quickly approaching, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs reminds Tennesseans to be wary of ‘sweetheart’ scammers who claim to love you but, in reality, are only after your money day.

“Valentine’s Day is an occasion showing your family just how much you care, but it addittionally offers the perfect window of opportunity for unscrupulous people to make the most of naive customers with the use of emotion-provoking scam tactics,” stated TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “We urge customers to be skeptical of deals that seem too advisable that you be real and people whom ask for the money through online dating services.”

The Division of Consumer Affairs offers the following to help Tennesseans avoid being a scammer’s sweetheart with Tennessee ranked 10 th in the nation for fraud

ONLINE DATING SITES SCAMS union frauds, or “sweetheart” scams, are among the earliest tricks in many scammers’ playbooks. Regrettably, the increase of internet dating internet sites, mobile apps, and social network platforms have actually offered scammers an alternative way to fool individuals into thinking their schemes. While genuine relationships are usually obtained online, scammers also make use of these internet sites and platforms to victim on unsuspecting victims. Scammers will generate profiles that are fake attract people and then make use of psychological techniques to get cash.

  • You meet some body for a site that is dating. The individual you’re interacting with instantly really wants to keep the dating internet site and begin interacting over individual e-mail or IM.
  • The individual claims love quickly and things turn severe.
  • Even though the person claims become through the U.S., she or he also claims become traveling or working offshore.
  • Scammers use thoughts by simply making up elaborate tales about requiring cash for travel mishaps, medical emergencies, lacking visas ( or other papers) or a temporary monetary setback.
  • The scammers will ask for the monetary assistance by wiring them cash. The very first transfer is tiny, but it is accompanied by demands for lots more.

Keep in mind: NEVER deliver money to somebody who is utilizing the tactics that are above to some body you’ve never ever met face-to-face.


Present cards frauds can be a way that is increasingly common scammers to benefit down customers with good motives. A year ago, Tennesseans catholicmatch lost nearly $1 million to present card scammers. Scammers will pose as an internet love interest or perhaps a remote household member up against a bind that is financial. As opposed to a cable transfer or money, the scammers will persuade the customer to shop for present cards (frequently iTunes or Google Enjoy) and offer all of them with the redeemable rule on the rear of the card. (this technique is optimal for scammers considering that the scam is difficult to locate.) Customers whom get a request re re payment utilizing iTunes present cards it to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) that they believe may be a scam should report.

  • Never read or text someone the PIN quantity in the relative straight straight back of something special card. The amount can be as good as profit the scammers’ pocket.
  • Reputable companies, like technology help organizations and shop-at-home services, don’t ask for present cards as re payment. If you’re being expected by a caller to fund a service or product with a present card, continue with caution since it is most likely a fraud.
  • If you’re buying present cards as gift ideas, remember to purchase them from a professional and understood supply.


Considering gift that is purchasing or reduced solutions for Valentine’s Day? keep in mind:

  • Very Very Carefully review the expiration date of this present card. Generally speaking, the expiration date of something special card you buy should really be at the least 5 years following the date it absolutely was granted for you beneath the guidelines regarding the FTC ; additionally, the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act provides that a present certification will need to have an termination date that is at the least couple of years following the present certification is given.
  • You shouldn’t be charged a charge for the present certification being released.
  • Within 2 yrs of buying the present certification, you ought not be charged service charges (including dormancy charges, latency charges, or administrative charges) that decrease the total value of this gift certification.
  • These limitations might not use to prepaid cards in making phone calls or at numerous, unaffiliated merchants or at ATMS. in addition they may well not affect particular cards provided as client commitment honors, distributed or offered below face value to charitable companies for fundraising, offered with an organization that is charitable fundraising purposes, directed at a company by a member of staff for the employing business, or given by an company in recognition of solutions done by a worker.
  • When selecting something special, often be conscious of return policies and request a present receipt.