Today’s episode is a topic very personal to Joe and close to his heart: Online Romance Scamming.
Millions of people turn to online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding romance, many find a scammer trying to trick them into sending money. And Joe knows, exactly how that feels, because he too is a victim of romance fraud hell!
About 10 years ago, Joe got a very curious message.
It was from a woman who said she was in love with him, or rather in love with the person who had been claiming to be Joe Kort, sending her photographs he had posted over the years, including those with his nephews and nieces (who were minors at the time). “Would you be willing to talk to me?” this woman asked. She wanted to process what had happened to her and felt a connection to me since all of the pictures of Joe were stolen from his social media accounts. Joe said he was a therapist, a happily married gay man, and would be willing to speak with her in the context of a consultation. Beyond that, she should report this scam to Facebook.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time this happened. Since then Joe has been the unwitting victim of more than 100 romance identity scams!
He turned to ScamHaters United for help. And his guest today is Ruth Grover, founder of ScamHaters.
Ruth is a widow from the UK, who was a victim of online romance fraud herself, which led her to set up ScamHaters and expose these vile fraudsters. She has supported thousands of scam victims over the past eight years.
Last year, people reported losing $201 million to romance scams. People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC!
Romance scammers are cruel. For the women, the victims and the men used like Joe. Cruel especially because victims like Joe, have no choice in being used and we can do little about it….