In today’s world, the public is inundated with scams, a form of fraud that takes advantage of someone’s kind heart and eventually leads to their financial destruction. Scammers will contact people by phone, by email, through social media, online and any other way they can, sometimes impersonating trusted financial sources to trick you into revealing your personal information, such as your bank, your software or internet company, favorite shopping destinations and more. Often, their communication methods look incredibly authentic.
Online romance scams have become so common, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) established an Online Dating Scams page dedicated to educating the public on how to avoid them. If you are targeted by one of these scams and have taken the bait, you may be wondering whether bankruptcy could help you heal the financial damage that results. Here’s what you need to know.
What Exactly is a Romance Scam?
In a romance scam, two people typically meet on the internet. One is an unsuspecting person in a vulnerable position. They may be divorced, widowed, out of work, ill, older and feeling very lonely and desperate for an emotional connection. They also have some form of financial resources, like a savings account, investment account or inheritance. The scammer capitalizes on this person’s vulnerability by forging a quick and deep emotional bond, talking for hours on the phone or online and building a feeling of trust with this person. Eventually, the scammer requests a large amount of money to resolve a supposed urgent issue in their life – an average of $2,600, according to the FTC. Sometimes the victim pays $10,000 or more before realizing it’s a scam.
Who Are The Targets of Romance Scams?
It would be a mistake to assume that all targets of romance scams are elderly people or those without the mental capacity to understand what’s happening. They can be men and women of all ages, people who have recently lost spouses, college-educated professionals and all sorts of kind-hearted people who simply don’t expect they’re about to be scammed.
Will the Person Who Scammed Me Be Held Responsible?
If you’ve been the target of a romance scam, you probably feel embarrassed and angry. You want the scammer to be held responsible for their actions and you want your money back. Unfortunately, these scammers are hard to track down and are rarely held fully responsible. Many of them reside overseas and will never face criminal charges.
Can Bankruptcy Help Me After a Scam?
After a scam, the best thing you can do is channel your anger into protecting yourself. Take action and prevent a scam from ever happening to you again. You may be able to restore your financial stability by filing for bankruptcy because it eliminates certain types of debt and gives you a fresh financial future. Contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help you understand your options.
Sawin & Shea – Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorneys
Filing for bankruptcy is not the end. It’s the beginning of a new financial life for you. The Indiana bankruptcy attorneys at Sawin & Shea can help you get rid of the overwhelming debt and advise you on life after bankruptcy. We are here for you during this life-changing process. Please do not hesitate to call us today at 317-759-1483 for a free consultation. We are ready to help.