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She believed that "money" would soon all be theirs to share once Richard could get to the U. to access the funds."They gain your confidence and start with little things, little requests, a little money here, a favor there, before you know it you are so invested in this scam you are giving them more and more things," said Siobhan Johnson, Special Agent and Public Affairs, FBI Chicago.

The FBI Chicago Field Office said most victims send at least 0,000."A lot of people think that they cannot put the brakes on because then all of the things they have done so far are for nothing," Johnson explained.

Said Stringhini, "In principle there's no reason it couldn't happen in the U.

(WLS) -- An Aurora woman was swept off her feet and then taken to the cleaners, losing 0,000.

Bockus was tricked into sending dozens of cash payments totaling 0,000 to a person who she thought would be a partner for life."He was going to move here, in this house and then we were going to buy a house in Florida," she explained. Shortly after she said they ditched the dating platform interface and exchanged phone numbers and e mail."Every time I see your picture I fall in love all over again," Richard wrote to Bockus. Another read, "If I had a flower every time I thought of you I'd have a whole garden forever."It wasn't long before requests for money started."Six weeks' worth of build-up to where we were, I thought, really close and for him to ask for-- started out small amounts you know like ,000 or ,000 and then the largest one was like ,000," Bockus said.

The grifter directs his victim to a local florist — who he knows — and then they share the profit.And potential victims are lining up for many of these cons: 20% percent of the "swindler" profiles received at least 70 message before being deleted.Because the "flower basket" scam is so culturally specific, it may be tempting to isolate it as a Chinese phenomenon. While the cultural particulars of online dating scams may change, the social and emotional forces at play are universal.A: Most cases I have worked with in the investigations stage do not make it to a criminal filing because usually the imposter online scammer is someone from overseas, such as Costa Rica, Nigeria or Jamaica. Local authorities are not the proper agency to investigate.It is extremely difficult to truly identify the international scammer, and even if so, next to impossible to effectuate an out-of-country arrest.

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