Romance Scams - What to know
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), romance scams were up about 50% in 2020 from previous years. Reported losses to romance scams reached a record of $304 million and for an individual, that means a median dollar loss of $2,500.
What is a Romance Scam?
It's a trick by someone who pretends to have romantic feelings toward a person to gain their trust and then uses that trust for malicious intent at the expense of the victim. They are set to steal your heart in order to defraud you.
What can you do?
- Don't give your information. Never give out any sensitive, private or personal information about yourself or your loved ones.
- Take things slow. Ask lots of questions and take things as slowly as possible. If you feel someone is pressuring you into rushing things, it's a sign of a scam.
- Keep your social accounts private. Keep your social accounts private and don't accept friend requests without being sure you know the contact.
- Never wire money. If an online love interest asks you for money, do not send it by wire, cash or gift card or any other method. It's a scam.
- Heed warnings from loved ones. Listen to the people who love you most. If they are concerned you're being scammed, listen to them.
- Report your experience. Notify your bank and the Federal Trade Commission.
Are there red flags to look for?
- From the U.S. but overseas for work or military duty
- Vague profile details or avoids answering personal questions
- Very fast to proclaim their feelings of love and affection
- Make plans to meet in person and cancels due to an emergency
- Requests money and needs it quickly for an emergency
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