According to the Times internet scammers are targeting women in their 50s and 60s, often retired and living alone, who say that the email and phone wooing forms a bond that may not be physical but that is intense and enveloping. Between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2014, nearly 6,000 people registered complaints of such confidence fraud with losses of $82.3 million, according to the federal Internet Crime Complaint Center. Older people are ideal targets because they often have accumulated savings over a lifetime, own their homes and are susceptible to being deceived by someone intent on fraud. The digital version of the romance con is now sufficiently widespread that AARP's Fraud Watch Network has urged online dating sites to institute more safeguards to protect against such fraud. The AARP network recommends that dating site members use Google's "search by image" to see if the suitor's picture appears on other sites with different names. If an email from "a potential suitor seems suspicious, cut and paste it into Google and see if the words pop up on any romance scam sites," the network advised. The website romancescams.org lists red flags to look for to identify such predators, who urgently appeal to victims for money to cover financial setbacks like unexpected fines, money lost to robbery or unpaid wages. Most victims say they are embarrassed to admit what happened, and they fear that revealing it will bring derision from their family and friends, who will question their judgment and even their ability to handle their own financial affairs."It makes me sound so stupid, but he would be calling me in the evening and at night. It felt so real. We had plans to go to the Bahamas and to Bermuda together," says Louise Brown. "When I found out it was a scam, I felt so betrayed. I kept it secret from my family for two years, but it's an awful thing to carry around. But later I sent him a message and said I forgave him."
Whenever we have gotten an email we have called the cable company, been forwarded to their security department, and we are assured that her social security number is not being used and that they will clear her name and email address out of their system. Yet a few weeks later we get another email. Our concern is that when the cable company goes after my wife for the unpaid balance on the account I am sure that neither they nor a collection agency will care much that it's not her social security number — it's her name and they will demand she pays.
We have a very strong password (long, completely random string of chars, nums, and symbols) and 2-factor authentication on the email account so we are fairly certain that no one is currently hacking into her email (at least, it's not worth it for however many thousands of dollars they can actually steal off this scam), But we think that the cable company should be doing more to not be complicit in an attempted identity theft. We have made it clear that we don't live in the area they cover so we should not have an account, but the fact that they keep setting up an account in her name means that they just don't care. Which is fine; I don't expect a cable company to care that they inconvenience us, but I would like to know if there is any way that we can make them care about it (liability, regulations, etc). I know YANAL but does anyone have any ideas about how to handle this? Thanks.
Even more alarming for liars is the incorporation of lie detector technology into the facial recognition technology. Researchers claim video-analysis software can analyze eye movement successfully to identify whether or not a subject is fibbing 82.5 percent of the time. The new technology heightens surveillance capabilities—from monitoring actions to assessing emotions—in ways that make an individual ever more vulnerable to government authorities, marketers, employers, and to any and every person with whom we interact. "We must understand that—at the individual level and with regard to interpersonal relations—too much truth and transparency can be harmful," says Norberto Andrade. "The permanent confrontation with a verifiable truth will turn us into overly cautious, calculating, and suspicious people."