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 be skeptical of ‘sweetheart’ scammers who claim to love you but, the truth is, are merely after your hard earned money.

“Valentine’s Day is a period showing your family simply how much you care, but it addittionally gives the perfect chance of unscrupulous individuals to make use of unsuspecting customers with 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 whom 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


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 network platforms have offered scammers an alternative way to fool individuals into thinking their schemes. While genuine relationships are usually obtained online, scammers also utilize these sites and platforms to victim on naive victims. Scammers will generate fake pages to attract people and then utilize psychological techniques to get cash.

  • You meet somebody on a dating internet site. The individual you’re interacting with instantly desires to leave the dating website and begin interacting over individual e-mail or IM.
  • The claims that are individual quickly and things turn severe.
  • As the person claims become through the U.S., he/she 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 setback that is financial.
  • The scammers will ask for the help that is financial by them cash. The transfer that is first little, but it is accompanied by demands for lots more.

Keep in mind: NEVER deliver money to somebody who is utilizing the tactics that are above to some body you’ve never ever met face-to-face.


Present cards frauds are an increasingly typical method 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 on-line love interest or perhaps a remote household member up against a bind that is financial. In place of a cable transfer or money, the scammers will persuade the customer to get present cards (frequently iTunes or Google Enjoy) and offer these with the code that is redeemable the back of the card. (this process is optimal for scammers considering that the scam is difficult to locate. ) people whom get a ask for re payment making use of iTunes present cards which they think might be a fraud should report it into the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) at

  • Never read or text someone the PIN quantity regarding the straight back of a present card. The quantity can be good as money in the scammers’ pocket.
  • Reputable organizations, 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 cover a service or product with something special card, continue with caution since it is most likely a scam.
  • 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 services for Valentine’s Day? Keep in mind:

  • Very Very Carefully review the expiration date regarding the present card. As a whole, the termination date of something special card you buy should always be at the least 5 years following the date it absolutely was given for your requirements beneath the guidelines associated with the FTC; additionally, the Tennessee customer Protection Act provides that an expiration must be had by a gift certificate date that is at the least couple of years following the present certificate is released.
  • You shouldn’t be charged a payment for the present certification being released.
  • Within 2 yrs of purchasing the present certification, you must not be charged solution costs (including dormancy costs, latency costs, or administrative charges) that lessen the total worth for the gift certification.
  • These limitations might not use to prepaid cards in making calls or at numerous, unaffiliated merchants or at ATMS. In addition they might not connect with particular cards provided as consumer loyalty honors, distributed or sold below face value to charitable businesses for fundraising, offered with a charity for fundraising purposes, provided to a company by a worker for the employing business, or given by the company in recognition of solutions performed by a member of staff.
  • When buying something special, be aware of always return policies and request something special receipt.
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