Watch out for ‘sweetheart’ scams this Valentine’s time

Watch out for ‘sweetheart’ scams this Valentine’s time

NASHVILLE – With Valentine’s Day approaching fast, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of customer Affairs reminds Tennesseans to be skeptical of ‘sweetheart’ scammers who claim to love you but, the truth is, are just after your money.

“Valentine’s Day is a period showing your family exactly how much you care, but it addittionally supplies the opportunity that is perfect unscrupulous people to make use of naive customers with 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 cash through online dating services.”

With Tennessee rated 10 th into the country for fraudulence , the Division of Consumer Affairs provides the after to greatly help Tennesseans avoid being fully a scammer’s sweetheart:

ONLINE DATING SITES SCAMS union frauds, or scams that are“sweetheart” are among the earliest tricks in many scammers’ playbooks. Regrettably, the increase of online dating sites web sites, mobile apps, and social network platforms have actually provided scammers an alternative way to deceive individuals into believing their schemes. While genuine relationships are frequently aquired online, scammers also utilize these sites and platforms to prey on naive victims. Scammers will generate profiles that are fake attract people and then utilize psychological techniques to get cash.

  • You meet somebody for a site that is dating. The individual communicating that is you’re instantly desires to keep the dating website and begin interacting over individual e-mail or IM.
  • The claims that are individual quickly and things turn severe.
  • Although 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 other papers) or a short-term monetary setback.
  • The scammers will ask for the monetary assistance by wiring them cash. The transfer that is first tiny, but it is accompanied by demands to get more.

Keep in mind: NEVER deliver money to a person who is utilizing the above strategies or to some body you’ve never ever met face-to-face.


Present cards frauds can be an increasingly typical means for scammers to benefit down customers with good motives. This past 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 customer to buy present cards (frequently iTunes or Google Enjoy) and supply all of them 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 get an obtain payment utilizing iTunes present cards which they think can be a fraud should report it into the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”).

  • Never read or text someone the PIN quantity from the relative straight straight back of a present card. The amount 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 re payment. If you’re being expected by way of a caller to cover a products or services with a present card, continue with caution since it is most most most likely a fraud.
  • From a reputable and known source if you’re buying gift cards as gifts, make sure to buy them.


Considering buying present certificates or reduced solutions for Valentine’s Day? keep in mind:

  • Very Very Very Carefully review the termination date for the present card. Generally speaking, the termination date of something special card you get must certanly be at the least 5 years following the date it absolutely was given for your requirements underneath the guidelines associated with the FTC ; additionally, the Tennessee customer Protection Act provides that a present certification will need to have an termination date that is at the very least 2 yrs following the present certification is released.
  • You must never be charged a payment for the present certification being granted.
  • Within couple of years of buying the present certification, you ought not be charged solution costs (including dormancy costs, latency charges, or administrative charges) that decrease the total value for the present certification.
  • These limitations may well not use to prepaid cards to make phone calls or at numerous, unaffiliated merchants or at ATMS. Additionally they might not affect specific cards offered as consumer commitment prizes, distributed or offered below face value to charitable businesses for fundraising, offered by an organization that is charitable fundraising purposes, fond of a manager by a worker for the employing business, or given by the boss in recognition of solutions performed by a member of staff.
  • When selecting something special, be conscious of return policies and get for something special receipt.