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Don’t break your heart or the bank: The ‘love stinks’ roundup

Emily Crone

No, my boyfriend and I are just fine. But one of my best girlfriends was just broken up with (over the phone!), and watching her grieve over the last few days has reminded me how much love can stink.  In honor of her, here is some interesting news about love and money.

Love wins over money — most of the time

A new survey of more than 2,000 adults by TRUE.com reveals that even when the economy isn’t so hot, love is. Singles still choose their heart over their wallet.

Despite the notion that men are intimidated by powerful women, 95 percent of men and 87 percent of women said it doesn’t matter if you make more money than the person you’re dating. Not only will they still love you if you make less, but they’ll still love you if you’re in the red: 87 percent of men and 80 percent of women said they would stay in a relationship even if the partner had major credit card debt or had filed for bankruptcy.

Additionally, 67 percent of women and 66 percent of men claim to have never kept financial secrets from someone they are dating. What about that other 30+ percent? Check out my colleague’s “11 signs your mate has a credit problem” blog to know what to look for.

Interestingly, the recession affects the romantic spending of women more than men. When asked if they would curb their dating spending in a tight economy, 36 percent of women said no. Only 49 percent of men said no; the other half will woo you despite the soaring prices of food and gas. When explicitly asked if gas prices will affect when, where and how they date, only 2 percent of men and 1 percent of women said yes. Maybe they should be asked again when it hits $5 a gallon.

Though gas doesn’t seem to be an issue, the bleak economic conditions are affecting the way some people are dating: 20 percent of women and 23 percent of men plan to spend less money on dining out and instead have more dinner dates at home.

Love and con men: Online dating scams
CNN published an interesting article yesterday about the growing number of scammers finding victims through online dating. Con men are finding women looking for love on the Internet, romanticizing them and stealing their money.  The story references a site, RomanceScams.org, which helps victims of romance fraud and warns online daters of all the scams out there. It also contains a database of known scam artists.

One ploy mentioned is the reshipping scam. This is when a con man asks his online love to help ship merchandise for him. “The merchandise is purchased on stolen credit cards, shipped to the victim and then shipped to the scammer,” the site says. “The scammer’s name is not associated with the purchase; the loss of merchandise has fallen on the credit card holder, the merchant and the person who shipped the items.”

Giving into a scammer’s ways can cost you a lot of money, but it can also cost you your identity. If you gave a scammer your banking or credit card information, RomanceScams.org recommends talking to the fraud departments at your banks and bringing supporting documents. It also advises placing fraud alerts on your credit reports and checking the reports for at least a year after being scammed to ensure your information is no longer in the wrong hands.

The site also has a section on red flags to look for when talking to a potential suitor online. Some include the person claiming to love you either immediately or within 24-48 hours; the person immediately wanting your address to send you flowers, candy and teddy bears (often with stolen credit cards); atrocious spelling; inconsistent personal details and requests for you to financially assist them (and becoming livid when you say you can’t help).  Just be smart. Think realistically. Don’t become so enamored that you’re willing to drain your bank account for a con man…unless it’s Sawyer.

Just kidding.

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