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Tennessee Consumer Affairs says ‘Sweetheart’ Scammers Will Break Your Heart, Empty Your Wallet
Posted By Clarksville Online News Staff On Sunday, February 10, 2019 @ 9:32 pm In News | No Comments
Nashville, TN – With Valentine’s Day (February 14th, 2019) 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.
“Valentine’s Day is a time to show your loved ones how much you care, but it also provides the perfect opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers by utilizing emotion-provoking scam tactics,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak.
“We urge consumers to be wary of deals that sound too good to be true and individuals who ask for money through online dating sites,” McPeak stated.
With Tennessee ranked 10th in the nation for fraud  , the Division of Consumer Affairs offers the following to help Tennesseans avoid being a scammer’s sweetheart:
Relationship scams, or “sweetheart” scams, are one of the oldest tricks in many scammers’ playbooks. Unfortunately, the rise of online dating websites, mobile apps, and social networking platforms have given scammers a new way to trick people into believing their schemes.
While legitimate relationships are often found online, scammers also use these websites and platforms to prey on unsuspecting victims. Scammers will create fake profiles to attract individuals and then use emotional tactics to solicit money.
Remember: NEVER send money to someone who is using the above tactics or to someone you’ve never met in person.
Gift cards scams  are an increasingly common way for scammers to profit off consumers with good intentions. Last year, Tennesseans lost nearly $1 million  to gift card scammers. Scammers will pose as an online love interest or a distant family member faced with a financial bind.
Consumers who receive a request for payment using iTunes gift cards that they believe may be a scam should report it to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) at ftc.gov/complaint .
Considering purchasing gift certificates or discounted services for Valentine’s Day? Remember:
For more information on being a savvy consumer, visit tn.gov/consumer . If you have been the victim of a scam, you can report the crime to the FTC  or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center .
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URL to article: https://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2019/02/10/tennessee-consumer-affairs-says-sweetheart-scammers-will-break-your-heart-empty-your-wallet/
URLs in this post:
 10th in the nation for fraud: https://www.tn.gov/commerce/news/2018/3/12/ftc--tennessee-has-10th-highest-rate-per-capita-in-u-s--for-fraud---other-reports.html
 Gift cards scams: https://www.tn.gov/commerce/news/2018/12/10/tennesseans-lost-nearly--1m-to-gift-card-scams-in-2018-.html
 Image: http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/cols/www/delivery/ck.php?n=aa8e5b9a&cb=1787212687
 ftc.gov/complaint: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1
 Image: http://www.clarksvilleonline.com/cols/www/delivery/ck.php?n=aa8e5b9a&cb=170566137
 tn.gov/consumer: https://www.tn.gov/commerce/consumer-affairs.html
 FTC: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
 Internet Crime Complaint Center: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
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