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FTC report shows romance scams reached record high in 2021

On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss the impact of romance scams, which the FTC said reached a record high in 2021. [kate3155/shutterstock]
On the "Sound of Ideas," we discuss the impact of romance scams, which the FTC said reached a record high in 2021. [kate3155/shutterstock]

This week marks two years since the start of the pandemic, and for some of us those have been two lonely years, especially if you are single and have had to quarantine by yourself, or work from home by yourself, or couldn't access the same social life you were used to before the pandemic. 

That isolation may be one of the contributing factors to the rise of romance scams in recent years, which according to a recent Federal Trade Commission report, had a record year in 2021. In the past five years, people have lost around $1.3 billion to these scams, more than any other FTC fraud category.  

Today on the "Sound of Ideas," we're going to talk with a panel of experts about how these scams happen, who are the most common victims, and how to get help both financially and emotionally if you are caught up in one. 

Then, we'll hear another installment of WKSU's music podcast, Shuffle, this time featuring singer-songwriter Brian Straw. 



Cuyahoga County Scam Squad

If you would like to speak with an investigator or receive written materials to help you protect yourself from scams, please call the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs at 216-443-SCAM (7226).

Tamar Cooper, Director, Behavioral Health, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging
-Jon Miller Steiger, Director, Federal Trade Commission, East Central Region
-Sheryl Harris, Director, Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs 
-Amy Nofziger, Director of Victim Support, Fraud Watch Network, AARP

-Brittany Nader, Producer, WKSU's Shuffle Podcast 
-Brian Straw, Singer-songwriter

Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”