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Catfishing is on the rise and it’s costing Americans thousands of dollars.

According to a new report by the Federal Trade Commission, more than 21,000 people fell victim to romance scams in 2018. That’s up significantly from 8,500 people in 2015.

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Based on those reports, the FTC found Americans lost a total of $143 million, more than any other type of consumer fraud reported that year.

People between the ages of 40-69 years old reported the highest losses. Additionally, people over 70 years old reported the highest individual median losses due to a romance scam — a staggering $10,000.

The FTC found the scammers are finessing people our of their funds with fake online profiles. According to the report, despite being active on dating websites or other apps, many of the victims were targeted on Facebook, where the scammer would begin with a Facebook message.

“Once these fraudsters have people by the heartstrings, they say they need money, often for a medical emergency or some other misfortune,” the report noted. “They often claim to be in the military and stationed abroad, which explains why they can’t meet in person. Pretending to need help with travel costs for a long-awaited visit is another common ruse.”

Sounds like a bad 90 Fiancé storyline. Poor Caesar.

Source: Yahoo Money

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