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 be skeptical of ‘sweetheart’ scammers who claim to love you but, the truth is, are merely after your cash.

“Valentine’s Day is an occasion showing your family exactly how much you care, but it addittionally supplies the opportunity that is perfect 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 advisable that you be real and folks whom ask for cash 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 earliest tricks in many scammers’ playbooks. Unfortuitously, the increase of online dating sites web sites, mobile apps, and networking that is social have actually offered scammers an alternative way to fool individuals into thinking their schemes. While genuine relationships are frequently obtained online, scammers also utilize these sites and platforms to victim on naive victims. Scammers will generate fake pages to attract people and then utilize psychological techniques to get cash.

  • You meet some body on a dating internet site. The individual you’re chatting with straight away would like to leave 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 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 monetary assistance by wiring them cash. The transfer that is first little, but it is accompanied by needs for lots more.

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


Present cards frauds are a way that is increasingly common scammers to profit off customers with good intentions. This past year, Tennesseans lost nearly $1 million to present card scammers. Scammers will pose as an internet love interest or even a remote family user up against a bind that is financial. Rather than a cable transfer or money, the scammers will persuade the customer to acquire present cards (often iTunes or Google Enjoy) and supply all of them with the redeemable rule on the rear of the card. (this process is optimal for scammers as the scam is difficult to locate. ) Customers whom receive an obtain re re payment utilizing iTunes present cards which they think might be a scam should report it to your Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) at

  • Never read or text someone the PIN quantity in the straight back of something special card. The quantity can be 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 payment. If you’re being expected by a caller to cover a service or product with something special card, continue with caution since it is most likely a fraud.
  • From a reputable and known source if you’re buying gift cards as gifts, make sure to buy them.


Considering buying present certificates or reduced services 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 a present card you get should really be at the very least 5 years following the date it absolutely was released for your requirements beneath the guidelines of this FTC; additionally, the Tennessee customer Protection Act provides that a present certification will need to have an termination date this is certainly at the very least couple of years following the present certificate is given.
  • You shouldn’t be charged a charge for the present certification being given.
  • Within 2 yrs of buying the present certification, you shouldn’t be charged solution fees (including dormancy costs, latency charges, or administrative costs) that decrease the total worth associated with the present certification.
  • These limitations might not use to prepaid cards in making phone calls or at numerous, unaffiliated merchants or at ATMS. Additionally they may well not connect with particular cards given as consumer commitment prizes, distributed or offered below face value to charitable businesses for fundraising, sold with an organization that is charitable fundraising purposes, fond of a manager by a member of staff for the employing business, or granted by an company in recognition of solutions done by a worker.
  • When selecting something special, be aware of always return policies and request a present receipt.

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