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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 a period showing your family exactly how much you care, but inaddition it supplies the perfect window of opportunity for unscrupulous people to make use of unsuspecting customers through 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 folks who ask for cash 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. Unfortunately, the increase of online dating sites internet sites, mobile apps, and networking that is social have actually provided scammers an alternative way to deceive individuals into thinking their schemes. While genuine relationships are frequently obtained online, scammers also utilize these internet sites and platforms to victim on naive 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 communicating that is you’re instantly really wants to keep the dating website and begin interacting over individual e-mail or IM.
  • The individual claims love 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 economic setback.
  • The scammers will ask for the economic assistance by wiring them cash. The very first transfer is little, but it is accompanied by needs for lots more.

Keep in mind: NEVER send money to a person who is making use of the tactics that are above to some body you’ve never ever met face-to-face.


Present cards frauds are a way that is increasingly common scammers to benefit down customers with good motives. A year ago, Tennesseans lost nearly $1 million to present card scammers. Scammers will pose as an internet love interest or perhaps a remote household user 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 supply these with the code that is redeemable the rear of the card. (this technique is optimal for scammers as the scam is difficult to locate.) Customers whom be given an ask for 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 from the straight back of something special card. The quantity can be as good as money in the scammers’ pocket.
  • Reputable companies, like technology help organizations 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 something special card, continue with caution since it is most likely a scam.
  • If you’re buying present cards as gift ideas, be sure to get them from an established and understood supply.


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

  • Very Very Carefully review the termination date for the present card. As a whole, the termination date of a present card you buy should really be at the very least 5 years following the date it had been given for you beneath the guidelines associated with the FTC ; additionally, the Tennessee customer Protection Act provides that something special certificate need an termination date this is certainly at the least 2 yrs following the present certification is released.
  • You shouldn’t be charged a payment for the present certification being given.
  • Within 2 yrs of buying the present certificate, you ought not be charged solution charges (including dormancy charges, latency charges, or administrative charges) that reduce steadily the total worth associated with the present certification.
  • These limitations might not use to prepaid cards to make calls or at numerous, unaffiliated merchants or at ATMS. They even may well not connect with specific cards provided as client commitment prizes, distributed or offered below face value to charitable businesses for fundraising, offered with a charity for fundraising purposes, fond of a manager by a member of staff for the employing business, or given by the manager in recognition of solutions done by a member of staff.
  • When selecting a present, often be conscious of return policies and request something special receipt.

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