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) fast approaching, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of customer Affairs reminds Tennesseans to keep clear of ‘sweetheart’ scammers who claim to love you but, the truth is, are just after your cash.

“Valentine’s Day is a period showing your family exactly how much you care, but it addittionally supplies the perfect window of opportunity for unscrupulous people to make use of naive 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 good to be real and people whom ask for cash through online dating services. ”

With Tennessee ranked 10 th when you look at the country for fraud, the Division of Consumer Affairs provides the following to help Tennesseans avoid being a scammer’s sweetheart:


Relationship frauds, or “sweetheart” scams, are among the earliest tricks in many scammers’ playbooks. Regrettably, the increase of online dating sites internet sites, mobile apps, and social media platforms have actually offered scammers an alternative way to fool individuals into thinking their schemes. While genuine relationships are usually aquired online, scammers also utilize these web sites and platforms to victim on naive victims. Scammers will generate profiles that are fake attract people and then utilize psychological techniques to obtain cash.

  • You meet some body on a dating website. Anyone you’re interacting with straight away really wants to keep the dating internet site and begin interacting over individual email or IM.
  • The individual claims love quickly and things turn severe.
  • Whilst the person claims become through the U.S., she or he additionally claims become working or traveling offshore.
  • Scammers use thoughts by simply making up elaborate stories about requiring cash for travel mishaps, medical emergencies, lacking visas ( or any other papers) or a short-term monetary setback.
  • The scammers will ask for the help that is financial by them cash. The transfer that is first tiny, but it is accompanied by demands for lots more.

Keep in mind: NEVER deliver money to somebody who is making use of the tactics that are above to somebody you’ve never ever met in person.


Present cards frauds can be an increasingly typical method for scammers to benefit down customers with good motives. Just last year, Tennesseans lost nearly $1 million to present card scammers. Scammers will pose as an internet love interest or perhaps a remote household user confronted with a bind that is financial. As opposed to a cable transfer or money, the scammers will persuade the buyer to get present cards (frequently iTunes or Google Enjoy) and offer all of them with the code that is redeemable the rear of the card. (this geek2geek reddit technique is optimal for scammers due to the fact scam is difficult to locate. ) Customers whom get an ask for re re re payment utilizing iTunes present cards which they think can be a scam should report it towards the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) at

  • Never read or text someone the PIN number from the straight straight back of a present card. The quantity can be good as money in the scammers’ pocket.
  • Reputable businesses, 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.
  • From a reputable and known source if you’re buying gift cards as gifts, make sure to buy them.


Considering gift that is purchasing or reduced solutions for Valentine’s Day? Remember:

  • Very Very Very Carefully review the expiration date associated with the present card. As a whole, the termination date of a present card you get must certanly be at the very least 5 years following the date it absolutely was given for you underneath the guidelines regarding the FTC; additionally, the Tennessee customer Protection Act provides that a present certification should have an termination date that is at the least couple of years following the present certification is released.
  • You must never be charged a charge for the present certificate being given.
  • Within couple of years of buying the present certification, you ought not be charged solution costs (including dormancy costs, latency charges, or administrative fees) that reduce steadily the total worth of this gift certification.
  • These limitations may well not use to prepaid cards in making calls or at numerous, unaffiliated merchants or at ATMS. They even might not connect with specific cards offered as client commitment honors, distributed or offered below face value to charitable companies for fundraising, offered by way of a charity for fundraising purposes, provided to a company by a member of staff for the employing business, or granted by the boss in recognition of solutions done by a member of staff.
  • When buying a present, continually be conscious of return policies and request something special receipt.

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