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) approaching fast, 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, in fact, are just after your cash.

“Valentine’s Day is a period showing your family just how much you care, but it addittionally offers the opportunity that is perfect unscrupulous people to benefit from unsuspecting customers with the use of emotion-provoking scam tactics, ” stated TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “We urge customers to keep clear of deals that sound too good to be real and folks whom ask for the money 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 oldest tricks in many scammers’ playbooks. Unfortuitously, the increase of online dating sites internet sites, mobile apps, and social media platforms have provided scammers a brand new method to deceive individuals into thinking their schemes. While genuine relationships are usually aquired online, scammers also make use of these web sites and platforms to victim on naive victims. Scammers will generate fake pages to attract individuals and then utilize psychological techniques to obtain cash.

  • You meet some body on a dating internet site. The individual communicating that is you’re instantly would like to keep the dating internet site and start interacting over individual e-mail or IM.
  • The individual claims love quickly and things turn serious.
  • Whilst the person claims become through the U.S., she or he additionally claims to be traveling or working offshore.
  • Scammers play on 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 setback that is financial.
  • The scammers will ask for your monetary assistance by wiring them money. The very first transfer is tiny, but it is accompanied by demands for lots more.

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


Present cards frauds are a way that is increasingly common scammers to benefit down customers with good motives. This past year, Tennesseans lost nearly $1 million to gift card scammers. Scammers will pose as an internet love interest or even a remote household user confronted with a bind that is financial. In place of a cable transfer or money, the scammers will persuade the buyer to buy present cards (frequently iTunes or Google Enjoy) and offer all of them with the redeemable rule on the back of the card. (this technique is optimal for scammers since the scam is difficult to locate. ) Customers whom be given an ask for re re re payment making use of iTunes present cards which they think can be a scam should report it into the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) at

  • Never read or text someone the PIN number from the relative straight back of something special card. The quantity can be 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 service or product with a present card, continue with caution since it is most likely a scam.
  • If you’re buying present cards as gift ideas, remember to purchase them from an established and understood supply.


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

  • Very Carefully review the termination date regarding the present card. Generally speaking, the expiration date of something special card you buy should really be at the very least 5 years following the date it had been granted for you underneath the guidelines of this FTC; additionally, the Tennessee customer Protection Act provides that something special certification should have an termination date this is certainly at the very least couple of years following the present certification is given.
  • You must never be charged a charge for the present certification being given.
  • Within 2 yrs of buying the present certification, you ought not be charged solution costs (including dormancy costs, latency charges, or administrative charges) that lessen the total value associated with present certificate.
  • These limitations might not use to prepaid cards to make phone calls or at numerous, unaffiliated merchants or at ATMS. They even might not connect with particular cards provided as consumer commitment prizes, given away or sold below face value to charitable companies for fundraising, offered with a charity for fundraising purposes, directed at a boss by a member of staff for the employing business, or granted by an manager in recognition of solutions done by a member of staff.
  • When selecting a present, continually be conscious of return policies and request a present receipt.

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