Content starts here

A new twist on romance scams

The below is a true story shared by a realtor.

Today I showed a house to an older gentleman who is in love and excited that his honey will soon be back from working overseas so they will be together in their new house. Sound nice? Very. However, in this case, it will never happen.

My goal of this post is to appeal to an older male or female who is single and looking for love online. I want to also make other Realtors aware of this situation and if you have single parents… you need to listen up too.

woman looking to a house
a senior woman looking to a private house
bbbrrn/Getty Images/iStockphoto

As a Realtor, I have a fiduciary responsibility to take care of my clients and work for them. But, just how far does that go? When they say their significant other is working overseas, should we question when they were last together? Should we question how they met and even if they have met them in person? It seems odd, but really if we are going to do a good job for our clients and protect them, we need to really keep our wits about us and look for some warning signs.

I have uncovered 2 scams played on my clients looking for houses in the past few months. These are NOT SMALL SIMPLE SCAMS between my two clients they have lost over $150,000. It occurs to me that if I have had 2 random clients come my way with this situation, then I am not the only one experiencing this. This must be a thing for the love scammers.

Here is the play:

• They find the older single person online.
• The relationship moves very fast and they will say anything to make their victim believe they are in love with them.
• They are overseas.
• They are not able to get back to the states for some crazy reason They ask for money for:
• To help with medical expenses due to a hospital stay from something drastic like a heart attack or a physical attack.
• To help with visa issues.
• To help pay taxes to release the money.
• To help with living expenses because their assets have been frozen.

They have a lawyer helping them, their lawyer usually knows the judge or someone that can help work the system. They feel that they will be able to come home very soon.

They say that they are sending a large amount of money so they can pay cash for the house and don’t need to get a loan. This is how they get the unsuspecting older victim’s bank details. They send the person here in America out to look for houses for the two of them to live together and make a fresh start.

They convince them to sell their current house so they can be together in the new house then asks for that money to be sent to them… leaving them homeless and waiting for their love to arrive and buy the house of their dreams.

If you or someone you know has been exposed to this type of scam, please contact the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 877-908-3360.

About AARP States
AARP is active in all 50 states and Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Connect with AARP in your state.