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, the truth is, are just after your cash.

“Valentine’s Day is a time showing your family just how much you care, but it addittionally offers the perfect chance of unscrupulous people to make the most of naive customers with 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 true and folks whom ask for the money through online dating sites. ”

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 scams that are“sweetheart” are among the earliest tricks in many scammers’ playbooks. Regrettably, the increase of online dating sites internet sites, mobile apps, and networking that is social have actually offered scammers an alternative way to deceive individuals into thinking their schemes. While genuine relationships are frequently aquired online, scammers also utilize these internet sites and platforms to victim on naive victims. Scammers will generate profiles that are fake attract people and then utilize emotional techniques to get cash.

  • You meet somebody for a dating website. Anyone communicating that is you’re straight away really wants to keep the dating website and begin interacting over individual e-mail or IM.
  • The individual claims love quickly and things turn serious.
  • Although the person claims to be through the U.S., she or he also claims become traveling or working offshore.
  • Scammers use emotions by 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 monetary assistance by wiring them cash. The 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 someone you’ve never ever met face-to-face.


Present cards scams can be 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 on-line love interest or a remote household user confronted with a monetary bind. In the place of a cable transfer or money, the scammers will persuade the buyer to shop for present cards (frequently iTunes or Google Enjoy) and supply these with the redeemable code on the back of the card. (this technique is optimal for scammers due to the fact scam is difficult to locate. ) Customers whom get an ask for re re re payment utilizing 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 straight back of a present card. The amount is really as good as money in the scammers’ pocket.
  • Reputable businesses, like technology help businesses and shop-at-home services, don’t ask for present cards as re payment. If you’re being expected by way of a caller to fund a service or product with a present 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 Very Carefully review the termination date for the present card. As a whole, the termination date of something special card you purchase must certanly be at the very least 5 years following the date it absolutely was granted for you beneath the guidelines for the FTC; additionally, the Tennessee customer Protection Act provides that a gift certification need an termination date that is at the very least 2 yrs 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 charges, latency charges, or administrative costs) that lessen the total value for the present certification.
  • These restrictions might not use to prepaid cards in making phone calls or at numerous, unaffiliated merchants or at ATMS. Additionally they might not affect specific cards offered as consumer commitment awards, distributed or offered below face value to charitable companies for fundraising, offered with a charity for fundraising purposes, fond of a company by a worker for the employing business, or released by the boss in recognition of solutions done by a member of staff.
  • When buying a present, be aware of always return policies and get for a present receipt.