Sweetheart Scam Alert!

All of the Consumer Protection groups that keep track of referrals are noting a heavy increase in incidents of "Sweetheart Swindles." Seniors, especially in this time of economic uncertainty, are extremely vulnerable to the kinds of scams that are accompanied by a kiss and a hug.

We've worked on many of these cases, some with good outcomes and some with bad outcomes. One thing seems to mark every single case, though, and that is that the victim does not think that he or she could possibly be being taken for a financial ride. "He would never do that to me" or "She is not that kind of a woman" is offered as an explanation.

We have had so many referrals at this point, that we are VERY alarmed at the increase in this sort of scam. If you are a friend or child or grandchild, etc., of a senior who you believe may be the victim of a Sweetheart Swindle, please have the person you are worried about read the following. It could save a fortune ... or even a life. If the senior has email, please send this to him/her. If they do not, please print this page and mail it to him/her.

Dear Senior:

I don't know you. I only know that someone is very worried about you ... and for all good reason. My name is Leslie Kim and I am the Executive Director of Fight Fraud America. (www.fightfraudamerica.com) We are the largest Public Education site on the Internet. In fact, if you do a www.google.com search of the words FIGHT FRAUD, we come up on Page One and as Number One. I have no stake in your personal business except that i want you SAFE.

Please ask yourself the following questions about whomever it is who has recently come into your life.

Please be absolutely honest when you answer these questions. Your life may well depend on it.

Is there more than a 20 year difference between your age and the age of your new special friend?

Is your net worth above $500,000?

Did your friend initially approach you to "help" you in some way?

Is your friend from another country ... either legally or illegally?

Is your friend married, but claiming to be very unhappy?

Is your friend employed in such a way that s/he knew about you before s/he actually met you? (For instance, a health care worker)

Has your friend, since his/her appearance in your life, been the cause of any trouble in your existing family? (For instance, causing a fight between you and your children, friends, grandchildren, etc.)

Have you found any inconsistencies between what your new friend says and what seems to be true?

Does your new friend have money problems or "temporary emergencies," will not ask for money but is willing to accept it if offered?

Are you giving or loaning this new friend money on a regular basis?

Are you hiding this knowledge from your family/friends because you are afraid of what they might think?

Are your family/friends worried about you?

Are you unwilling to speak openly with them about their concerns?

Do you think that it is none of their business?

Have you, for any reason, opened any new credit cards since you have known your new friend?

Have you cosigned a loan ... or been asked to?

Does your new friend have your permission to have ANY involvement in your financial affairs (including use of a credit card)?

Has your own health deteriorated since you have become involved with your new friend?

Does s/he have access to your medication?

Does s/he cook for you?

Has the subject of marriage been discussed? (Does s/he want to marry you?)

If you answered "Yes" to one of them, you might have a problem. If you answered "yes" to two or three of them, your friends and relatives have good reason to worry. If you answer "yes" to four to six of them, your friends and relatives have VERY VERY VERY good reason to worry. And if you've answered "yes" to more than six of these questions, please WAKE UP before it is too late.

Why? Because I have case file after case file after case file that clearly shows that Sweetheart Swindles have reached epidemic proportions. And in a few of those cases, I cannot warn the victim because he or she is already DEAD.

You may write to us at Fight Fraud America, PO Box 4847, Orange, CA 92863-4847.

You may email me at Leslie@fightfraudamerica.com.

If you send me your name and phone number, I will gladly phone you.

There is NO CHARGE for our services.

Leslie Kim

Executive Director

Fight fraud America