EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Scammers are taking advantage of COVID-19 job loss and posing as sugar daddies.
“They’re using COVID-19 and social media platforms to be able to identify new victims,” said Supervisory Special Agent Andres Hernandez with the FBI El Paso Division.
Hernandez said that typically, groups of men will pose as well-to-do older gentleman and direct message younger (and in some cases older) women with offers of companionship for cash. The scammers spend time developing a rapport with the target and will “mistakenly” send a check for double an agreed-upon amount.
“Then they’ll contact you to say they sent too much and ask you to send them back half of it, usually in the form of gift cards,” Hernandez said.
The scammers send checks they know will bounce, but appear as a deposited sum in a target’s bank account, thereby tricking the target to send them their own money in an irretrievable form.
Last year, there were 944 reports in Texas last year that resulted in a loss of about $5.4 million.
“In El Paso alone, we had 26 reports with a loss of about $60,000,” Hernandez said.
To report internet crime, visit https://www.ic3.gov/.