Sweetheart scams in Chicago suburbs

This one recently appeared in The Times here in Northwest Indiana. Apparently, so-called “Sweetheart Scams” targeting older men have seen a rise in the Chicago suburbs of late.

In this scam, middle-aged women approach single, older men in grocery stores, restaurants, bowling alleys and even in their yards. They engage the victim in conversation, which quickly turns into a relationship (or so the victim believes).

That’s when the requests for money start.

The con artist soon mentions financial problems, and the victim offers to help out. Another situation quickly arises, and the victim writes another check. Once the crooks have bled their victim dry, contact suddenly stops. It’s tricky legal territory because the victims are freely and willingly giving their money to these people, and in many cases don’t report the crime because they believe the relationship is real and they will be repaid.

This particular scam involves women targeting men, but it could also work the other way around. The lesson here is: be wary of whom you allow into your life, especially when it comes to relationships. While most people are honest, there are those among us who only want to take advantage of others, and will go to great lengths to do it. If anyone pursues your attention, then starts asking for money, it’s a bad sign.