TDCI: ‘Sweetheart’ Scammers Will Break Your Heart and Empty Your Wallet

TDCI: ‘Sweetheart’ Scammers Will Break Your Heart and Empty Your Wallet

NASHVILLE – With Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14, 2019) approaching fast, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs reminds Tennesseans to keep clear of ‘sweetheart’ scammers who claim to love you but, the truth is, are just after your hard earned money.

“Valentine’s Day is a period showing your family exactly how much you care, but it addittionally offers the opportunity that is perfect unscrupulous people to make use of naive consumers through the use of emotion-provoking scam tactics,” stated TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “We urge consumers to keep clear of deals that seem too good to 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


Relationship scams, or “sweetheart” scams, are among the earliest tricks in many scammers’ playbooks. Unfortuitously, the increase of internet dating web sites, mobile apps, and networking that is social have actually provided scammers a fresh means to fool individuals into thinking their schemes. While legitimate relationships are usually aquired online, scammers also use these web sites and platforms to prey on naive victims. Scammers will create profiles that are fake attract people and then make use of psychological techniques to get cash.

  • You meet somebody on a dating website. The individual communicating that is you’re immediately would like to keep the dating internet site and begin communicating over individual e-mail or IM.
  • The claims that are individual quickly and things turn severe.
  • As the person claims become through the U.S., she or he additionally 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 any other papers) or a short-term setback that is financial.
  • The scammers will ask for the help that is financial by them money. The transfer that is first tiny, but it is accompanied by demands to get more.

Remember: NEVER send money to an individual who is making use of the above strategies or to somebody you’ve never ever met in person.


Present cards scams can be an increasingly common means for scammers to benefit down customers with good motives. A year ago, Tennesseans lost nearly $1 million to gift card scammers. Scammers will pose as an on-line love interest or perhaps a remote household user confronted with a bind that is financial. As opposed to a wire transfer or money, the scammers will persuade the buyer to get present cards (often iTunes or Google Enjoy) and offer these with the code that is redeemable the back of the card. (this process is optimal for scammers as the scam is difficult to trace.) Customers whom be given a ask for payment utilizing iTunes present cards which they believe might be a scam should report it to your Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) at

  • Never read or text someone the PIN quantity regarding the back of a present card. The amount can be as good as profit the scammers’ pocket.
  • Reputable organizations, like technology support businesses and shop-at-home services, don’t ask for present cards as re re payment. If you’re being expected by a caller to fund a service or product with a present card, proceed with caution since it is most most likely a fraud.
  • If you’re buying present cards as gift ideas, be sure to purchase them from an established and known supply.


Considering buying gift certificates or reduced services for Valentine’s Day? keep in mind:

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