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Country Boy

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Help Needed

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Pyramid Scheme

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Recovery Rooms

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Ruse Entry

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Sweetheart Swindle Con

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Texas Twist

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Till Tap

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Trust Game

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Yellow Page Advertising


Sweetheart Swindle Con


This is a con game normally perpetrated by transient criminals, targeting mostly elderly widowed or single males or females.

The operatives will have a "chance meeting" with the intended victim on the street; in a supermarket; bank; or other public areas frequented by the elderly. Conversations will ensue and over a period of time the con artist will engage the victim in a bogus romantic relationship. The con artist may indicate that they are in dire financial circumstances and tell the victim they are waiting on a large insurance/law suit settlement. The suspect may ask for a loan for a sewing business (either for material or machinery) or they may ask for a loan for an expensive medical procedure and promise to pay the loan back when they get the money from the settlement. This relationship may lead to professions of love and even promises of marriage.

As the relationship progresses, the con artist may ultimately induce the victim into signing a Power of Attorney form. This opens up the opportunity for the player or an associate to completely drain all the financial assets of the victim. The player may also induce the victim to change an existing will, having them named as the major heir.

In some of these cases, the players are successfully able to get the victims to sign over the ownership of their homes. Once achieved, the con artist immediately resells the home and pockets the proceeds.

Once the perpetrator has depleted all of the victim's finances, they may obtain a life insurance policy on the victim, naming himself or herself or an associate as beneficiary. The sweetheart scam will continue until either the money runs out, the victim dies, or fear that the police might become involved.

Very rarely will the victim call the police. Usually it's the victim's family that eventually discovers the scam and reports it against the victim's wishes. When confronted by police, the victim may or may not remember every incident in which he or she has been scammed out money. The victim may also be reluctant to prosecute, because he or she's in love, scared, or embarrassed.

Prosecution of these types of cases is sometimes difficult, due to either the victim's reluctance to assist or because of their advanced age, their memory is so poor that they tend to make bad witnesses.  

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