Romance scams will cost you

by Lisa Weintraub Schifferle
Attorney, FTC Division of Consumer & Business Education


It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. You may think you spend a lot on flowers or chocolate, but losing money in a romance scam would cost you even more. Last year, people reported losing $143 million to romance scams – a higher total than for any other type of scam reported to the FTC. And, according to a new FTC Data Spotlight, reports of romance scams are on the rise.

What do we mean by romance scams? We’re not talking about the person you thought was “the one” but ended up being a dud. We’re talking about people you meet online, who lavish you with attention … and then ask for money. Usually they want the money by wire transfer or gift card. They might claim they need it for a medical emergency or to come visit you. Then they take your money, but there’s no surgery and no trip.

Romance scammers are hard at work wooing people on dating apps and social media. They may lift photos to create an attractive profile or even steal the identity of a real person. Just like with real romances, it may take them some time to gain your trust, but the scammer’s payoff can be big. Last year, people reported a median loss of $2,600 from romance scams.

How can you avoid romance scams?

  • Never send money or gifts to a sweetheart you haven’t met in person.
  • Take it slowly. Ask questions and look for inconsistent answers. Check the person’s photo using your search engine’s “search by image” feature. If the same picture shows up with a different name, that’s a red flag.
  • Talk to someone about this new love interest. And pay attention if your friends or family are concerned.
  • If you suspect a romance scam, cut off contact right away. Then, report to the scam to the FTC at Notify the dating site where you met the scammer, too.
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Museum presents talk on race and change across cultures & generations: February 15

Media Release
Amelia Island Museum of History
February 14, 2019

“Race and Change Across Cultures and Generations”

with Dr. Kitty Oliver
Friday, Feb 15th @ 6:00 PM

Dr. Kitty Oliver

Join us for a thought-provoking, inspirational look at race from a different perspective that resonates with audiences across racial, ethnic and generational lines and sparks new conversations long after the program ends. Dr. Kitty Oliver is a veteran journalist, race relations oral historian and author, and TV and radio producer. She is the founder of the Race and Change Oral History Archive at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

This program is sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the Florida Department State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Attendance is free for members with a suggested donation of $5 for non-members. Seating is first-come, first-served and is wheelchair accessible. For more information contact Joshua at 904-261-7378 ext 102 or [email protected]

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City of Fernandina Beach Commission seeks acquisition of vacant land

By Susan Hardee Steger
February 13, 2019 10:05 a.m.

Marc Hudson from the North Florida Land Trust updated commissioners on negotiations to acquire vacant land totaling 7.5 acres located East of North 11th Street in Fernandina Beach. According to Hudson, “We are very close, and the conversations with the sellers have been very favorable.”

The North Florida Land Trust and the City of Fernandina Beach have developed a Memorandum of Understanding to“Co-Acquire” the properties which consist of two adjacent parcels. The first parcel is owned by the Episcopal Diocese (5.92 acres) and the other by Garrett Floyd (1.58 acres). The property appraisals are complete (confidential at this time), a minor title issue is being resolved, and Hudson expects an offer to the property owners within the next week or two. The offer to purchase requires city commission approval.

Conservation Planning

The NFLA works with communities to develop conservation plans. At the direction of Commissioner Chip Ross, Hudson presented the process used by the NFLA to identify which properties are significant to conservation. Vacant lands are categorized as “opportunity areas” for parks and green space. To determine where to invest, consideration is given to answers to the following questions:

  • Where do we want to avoid development in the future?
  • What things have specific community and natural value?
  • Where are Native habitat areas (forests, dunes, park lands) where can we take advantage of and add to existing native habitat areas?
  • How can we add to existing public infrastructure (existing parks & trails)?
  • Can everyone in the city easily walk to a park? (Most people are willing to walk a ¼ of a mile to a park. Most areas in Fernandina Beach are serviced by a park, but there are a few areas in Fernandina where service to parks can be improved.)

A weighted value and ranking to the analysis is given to determine the best “opportunity areas” for land conservation (see maps below.) An area wide appraisal is produced and a strategy for financing is analyzed. A common sense measurement is made to determine Continue reading

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17th Annual AIMH Charity Golf Tournament February 22

Amelia Island Museum of History
February 11, 2019

Registration is now open for the Amelia Island Museum of History’s 17th Annual Charity Golf Tournament, which will be held on Friday February 22nd at noon at the Golf Club of Amelia Island. This year the tournament honors the memory of Cal Atwood. The entry fee is $150 per player and includes a pre-tournament reception at the museum on Wednesday, February 20th at 5 pm. Registration closes on February 15th. For registration forms, visit the Museum website at

17th Annual AIMH Charity Golf Tournament
Friday February 22nd, 2019
Shotgun Start at Noon
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Worldwide Terminals Fernandina announces new monthly vessel service

Worldwide Terminals Fernandina LLC
Press Release
February 13, 2019 5:56 a.m.

Worldwide Terminals Fernandina LLC (“Worldwide”) is pleased to announce they have concluded a deal to launch a new monthly vessel service at the Port of Fernandina. The new service will be operated by SDW Shipping BV, a private shipping company based in the Netherlands. The first vessel call at Fernandina will commence in April of 2019.

Worldwide Terminals, LLC is the port operator for the Port of Fernandina.

The service will feature general cargo vessels of approximately 15,000 Gross Tons, encompassing break-bulk, project and heavy lift cargo, and containers.

The service will originate in Uddevalla, Sweden, and call Bilbao, Spain before making its way into Fernandina for discharge of lumber and steel. It will then load back cargo, potentially call at ports in Guatemala or Continue reading

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NCCOA Caregivers Support Group hosts “Making Advance Planning Easier”

Nassau County Council on Aging
Press Release
Submitted by Liz Dunn
February 12, 2019 1:00 p.m.

Nassau County Council on Aging’s (NCCOA’s) Caregivers Support Group is hosting a free seminar, Making Advance Planning Easier…with a Florida POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment), Tues., February 26, 6-8 p.m., The Life Center at 1901 Island Walk Way, Fernandina Beach.

The seminar will feature presenter Ronnie Genser, President and Founder, Bereavement Navigators, with a welcome and introduction by Caroline H. Sheppard, MSW, award-winning author of When Family Calls: Finding Hope in the Chaos of Long-Distance Caregiving. Being prepared with advance planning will save you stress, confusion and heartache, and Continue reading

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Nassau County Council on Aging Caregivers Support Group Meeting

Nassau County Council on Aging
Press Release
Submitted by Liz Dunn
February 12, 2019 4:00 p.m.

As part of our ongoing Caregivers Support Group series, join us on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m., Nassau County Council on Aging (NCCOA), 1367 S. 18th St., Fernandina Beach (across from Baptist Medical Center Nassau). This will be a full support session (no guest speaker); it is free and open to all caregivers in our community.

NCCOA’s Caregivers Support Group meets the third Thursday of each month. The overall goal of the group is to offer support and education for caregivers. It is not suited for loved ones to attend; however, all caregivers are welcome. For more information, please call Debra Dombkowski, LPN, CDP, 904-742-9092.

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Wild Amelia cleans on South Fletcher

Wild Amelia
Press Release
February 12, 2018 1:00 p.m.

Wild Amelia volunteers completed a quarterly Adopt-a-Road cleanup of three miles of South Fletcher Avenue on Sunday, February 10. Pictured left to right: Mike and Ann Weiss, Donna and Toby Tovar, Julie and Jim Veilleux, Anson DeWolf, Melinda Etheridge, Susan DeWolf, Linda Levine, Susan Rutan and Scott Moore. Not pictured: Bev Lawrence, Steve Cowart, and the Mazurowski family; Max, Clarissa, Cassidy, Caitlyn and Cendall. Photo-Steve Cowart
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Florida State Librarian to speak in Fernandina Beach

Nassau County Public Library System
Press Release
Janet W. Loveless, Assistant Director
February 12, 2019 10:00 a.m.

Florida State Library Director Amy L. Johnson

State Librarian, Amy L. Johnson, will present a program on “Public Libraries in their Communities” at the Fernandina Beach Branch Library on Thursday, February 21st at 5:30 pm. Residents across the county are invited to attend. Ms. Johnson has served as the State Librarian and Director of the Division of Library and Information Services (DLIS) at the Florida Department of State since her appointment in 2015.

Since joining the department in 2000, Amy has held several positions, serving as Chief of the Bureau of Library Development from late 2011 through 2015. Prior to joining the Florida Department of State, Amy was a librarian at the Marshall W. Hamilton Library at North Florida Community College in Madison, Florida. Ms. Johnson completed a Master of Science Continue reading

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