May 26, 2022

GREENDALE, WI — Romance scams have cost Wisconsin residents thousands, even right here in Greendale, and in the days and weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day today, the FBI has warned the schemes that offer love and affection are on the uptick.

It doesn’t matter your age, many have become victims of the scam, but the FBI says older women are most often the target of the confidence scams that use a romantic relationship to swindle people out of their money and personal information.

Just in 2020, Americans lost over $281 million to the confidence scams, according to the FBI, and in Wisconsin, $5.6 million was scammed.

Find out what’s happening in Greendale with free, real-time updates from Patch.

In Greendale, a woman was recently scammed out of $24,000, according to police department logs. The resident had met a man online in February of 2021, but in October, the resident contacted the Greendale Police Department letting them know the relationship may have been a romance scam.

The romance scam may play on the loneliness of older Americans, according to AARP, whose research shows a common theme among people targeted in romance scams — they had recently experienced a negative event, whether the loss of a spouse or job, or a financial setback. Swindlers get that information by scanning obituaries, online and offline documents, or even by going through people’s trash.

Find out what’s happening in Greendale with free, real-time updates from Patch.

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