LEE COUNTY, Texas - The Lee County Sheriff's Office says dating scams have caused victims to lose over $100,000.
Investigators have determined the suspects became involved with the victims online through dating apps and other similar apps.
LCSO says typically single women over 45 are targeted through online or phone relationships. The victims then are eventually asked to help with various financial transactions, such as opening bank accounts, depositing checks, purchasing gift cards and moving money to other financial institutions to help the scammer.
Once trust is established, the victim is then asked to help the scammer with a temporary financial situation, under the guise that the money will be repaid in a short period of time; which never occurs, says LCSO.
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The sheriff's office says this type of case can go underreported due to victims feeling embarrassed or shamed for falling for the scam. LCSO adds that shame is part of how suspects control and manipulate their victims.
LCSO is encouraging residents to be vigilant and have discussions with family and friends about these types of online and phone encounters.