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Romance scams on the rise – how to protect your family | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans

Romance scams are growing in popularity. Our Allison Gormly spoke to one woman whose mother got scammed into believing she dated a former Journey band member.

INDIANAPOLIS — Romance scams prey on people’s emotions.

A person falls for someone they meet online only to be used for money. That is what Lori Goodpaster said happened to her mom.

“She is the only parent I have left, and I’m just trying to do everything I can to protect her.”

13News is not showing photos of her 73-year-old mom to respect her privacy.

Goodpaster thinks her mom started talking to the scammer because she is lonely. 

And the person her mom thinks she is dating? Former Journey frontman Steve Perry. 

“I sent an email or an inbox to the original Steve Perry,” Goodpaster said, pleading for help.

Shortly after, Steve Perry’s verified Facebook page posted a warning to fans, like her mom, about scammers.

“(Mom) said, ‘See, he is real.’ I said mom, I never said Steve Perry didn’t exist. I said the person that you’re talking to is not Steve Perry,” Goodpaster said.

The scammer told Goodpaster’s mom that they need financial help because all of their assets are frozen.

“Something to do with a court case in California,” she recalled. 

And Goodpaster’s hands are tied because she is not on any of her mom’s bank accounts, so they won’t provide Goodpastor with any information.

As for the police, Goodpaster said they offered to talk to her mom about scams.  

Jennifer Adamany, with the Better Business Bureau, said this is part of the reason these scams are successful.

“Ultimately, it’s (the victim’s) decision to give their money to whom they want,” Adamany said. 

She added that romance scams are growing in popularity and payments.

“The median dollar loss was around $1,400,” Adamany said. “In 2021, it was $900.”

The scam also climbed to number seven on the BBB’s scam list. 

The Federal Trade Commission said that people reported a record $547 million in losses to romance scams in 2021.

While this scammer chose to impersonate Steve Perry, other scammers steal photos from everyday people.

To make sure the person is real, try a reverse image search. Save their photos and upload them to Google Images. Google will look around the internet to see if the photos are used somewhere else. 

You can also ask to video chat.

As for Goodpaster’s mom, she does not know Goodpaster spoke with 13News.

“If it means she, she hates me…I am doing what I can to protect her,” Goodpaster said, hoping to not only protect her parent, but others’ parents, too.

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