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, in fact, are merely after your cash.

“Valentine’s Day is an occasion showing your family just how much you care, but inaddition it offers the perfect chance for unscrupulous people to benefit from naive customers through the use of emotion-provoking scam tactics, ” stated TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “We urge customers to keep clear of deals that seem too good to be real and folks who ask for cash through online dating services. ”

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


Relationship scams, or scams that are“sweetheart” are among the earliest tricks in many scammers’ playbooks. Unfortuitously, the increase of internet dating websites, mobile apps, and networking that is social have actually provided scammers an alternative way to deceive individuals into thinking their schemes. While genuine relationships are often aquired online, scammers also make use of these internet 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 for a dating website. Anyone communicating that is you’re instantly really wants to keep the dating internet site and begin interacting over individual e-mail or IM.
  • The individual claims love quickly and things turn severe.
  • Whilst the person claims to be 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 any other papers) or a short-term monetary setback.
  • The scammers will ask for the economic assistance by wiring them cash. The transfer that is first little, but it is accompanied by demands for lots more.

Keep in mind: NEVER deliver money to an individual who is making use of the above strategies or to some body you’ve never ever met face-to-face.


Present cards scams are a way that is increasingly common scammers to benefit down customers with good motives. A year ago, Tennesseans lost nearly $1 million to present card scammers. Scammers will pose as an internet love interest or even a remote household member confronted with a monetary bind. As opposed to a cable transfer or money, the scammers will persuade the buyer to get gift cards (frequently iTunes or Google Play) and offer all of them with the redeemable rule on the back of the card. (this technique is optimal for scammers as the scam is difficult to locate. ) Customers whom be given an obtain re payment making use of iTunes present cards it to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) at that they believe may be a scam should report.

  • Never read or text someone the PIN quantity from the relative straight straight straight back of something special card. The quantity 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 asked by a caller to cover a service or product with a present card, continue with caution since it is likely a fraud.
  • If you’re buying present cards as gift ideas, be sure to get them from a professional and understood supply.


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

  • Very Very Very Carefully review the termination date associated with present card. As a whole, the termination date of a present card you buy must be at the very least 5 years following the date it absolutely was released for you beneath the guidelines associated with FTC; additionally, the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act provides that something special certification will need to have an termination date this is certainly at the very least 2 yrs following the present certification is released.
  • You shouldn’t be charged a charge for the present certification being given.
  • Within couple of years of buying the present certification, you must not be charged solution charges (including dormancy costs, latency charges, or administrative charges) that decrease the total value regarding the present certification.
  • These limitations might not use to prepaid cards to make phone calls or at numerous, unaffiliated merchants or at ATMS. They even may well not connect with specific cards provided as customer commitment honors, distributed or offered below face value to charitable companies for fundraising, offered by an organization that is charitable fundraising purposes, directed at a company by a worker for the employing business, or granted by an company in recognition of solutions done by a worker.
  • When selecting a present, continually be conscious of return policies and have for something special receipt.

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