While there are many varieties of scams that come under international financial scams, they all share a common goal, that of monetary gain for the scammers.
Some of the most common international financial scams are – online romance scams, grandparent/relative scam, and lottery scams.
Romance scams, also referred to as online dating scams, are where any individual that you have not met personally is quick to offer companionship, romance, and/or matrimony.
Well-aware that many people worldwide use dating websites, scammers – under fake profiles – lure unsuspecting people to enter into online relationships with them.
Typically, in an international financial scam involving online dating, the scammer would ask for money to be transferred to them, allegedly to pay for visa fees, legal expenses and/or hospital fees. Usually, scammers seem to have run into problems overseas all of a sudden.
As per the Federal Trade Commission, the costliest online dating scam reported to the FTC in the US in 2019 was wherein USD 201 million were lost.
In such scams, an individual contacts either the grandparents or other relatives pretending to be their family member that is in urgent need of money.
Usually, the scammer would ask the person contacted to keep the fact a secret. Prompt verification of the facts of the situation with the concerned family member directly is the recommended course of action in such situations.
In lottery scams, the recipient is contacted and informed that they had won a lottery, often involving a significant prize money.
However, the recipient is typically required to pay certain processing fees and other taxes upfront for claiming their prize under a foreign lottery.
Tips for protecting yourself from online scams
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