An arrangement where a "sugar daddy" (or, sometimes, a "sugar mommy") promises a "sugar baby" money for engaging in a "romantic" (i.e., sexual) relationship. Promising such a relationship is often used to scam people in fraud schemes like advanced fee fraud or smurfing.

The typical premise of a "sugar" relationship is that a sugar-daddy or sugar-momma pays a sugar-baby in exchange for companionship, typically sexual in nature. What distinguishes a sugar relationship from prostitution is that it is often structured such that:

  • the relationship is long term
  • the relationship may be exclusive
  • the sugar-daddy doesn't just pay money, he pays rent, credit card bills, utilities, etc. and often pays them directly

This establishes a stronger level of control over the sugar-baby. The sugar-baby cannot refuse her end of the bargain without risking giving up necessities. This traditional sugar relationship carries similar risks and rewards to prostitution.

A sugar relationship is often used as a setup for more ordinary fraud by enticing the sugar-baby as a mark. The scammer suggests to the sugar-baby that he likes her and would like to send her something, this elicits access to the babys accounts or gets her to act as a money mule by cashing fraudulent checks, buying goods with stolen financial information, or other fraud. The sugar-baby thinks she is getting something for doing little more than flirting with someone or sending pictures, in reality she is being victimized and stolen from or being used to launder stolen money.

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