Day Beware of ‘sweetheart’ scams this Valentine’s

NASHVILLE – With Valentine’s 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 day.

“Valentine’s Day is a period showing your family exactly how much you care, but inaddition it supplies the perfect window of opportunity 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 be skeptical of deals that seem too good to be real and people whom ask for the money 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:

INTERNET DATING SCAMS 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 media platforms have actually provided 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 make use of psychological techniques to obtain cash.

  • You meet somebody on a dating internet site. The individual you’re interacting with 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.
  • Although the person claims become from 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 other papers) or a short-term economic setback.
  • The scammers will ask for the economic assistance by wiring them cash. The very first transfer is little, but it is accompanied by demands to get more.

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


Present cards frauds 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 friendfinder app or even a distant household user confronted with a bind that is financial. Rather than a cable transfer or money, the scammers will persuade the customer to buy present cards (often iTunes or Google Enjoy) and supply these with the code that is redeemable the rear of the card. (this process is optimal for scammers since the scam is difficult to locate.) Customers whom get an ask for re re payment making use of iTunes present cards they think could be a fraud should report it to your Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”).

  • Never read or text someone the PIN quantity regarding the straight straight straight back of something special card. The quantity is really as 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 re payment. If you’re being expected by a caller to cover a products or services with something special card, continue with caution since it is most most likely a fraud.
  • 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 solutions for Valentine’s Day? keep in mind:

  • Very Very Carefully review the termination 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 had been released for you underneath the guidelines for the FTC ; additionally, the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act provides that a present certification will need to have an expiration date this is certainly at the least couple of years following the present certification is released.
  • You must never be charged a charge for the present certification being granted.
  • Within couple of years of buying the present certification, you ought not be charged solution costs (including dormancy charges, latency charges, or administrative charges) that decrease the total worth of this present certification.
  • These restrictions may well not use to prepaid cards to make calls or at numerous, unaffiliated merchants or at ATMS. In addition they may well not connect with particular cards provided as consumer commitment prizes, distributed or offered below face value to charitable companies for fundraising, offered with an organization that is charitable fundraising purposes, directed at a manager by a worker for the employing business, or granted by the manager in recognition of solutions done by a member of staff.
  • When selecting something special, be aware of always return policies and have for something special receipt.