Love hurts – especially when it’s a scam.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, people often look to dating online. And while online dating is quite popular, it’s important to be on the lookout for romance scams, which have become quite common.
Nearly 70,000 people reported a romance scam in 2022, and reported losses at $1.3 billion, the Federal Trade Commission reported. Romance scams occur when a person takes on a fake online identity to gain a victim’s trust in order to ultimately steal from the victim, according To the FBI.
These There are many scams in the country.
‘Sweetheart swindles’:Romance Scams can bring in as much as $1B annually
In JanuaryA 36-year old woman. Florida Frau swindled a Holocaust Survivor: Up to $2.8 million After they met through a dating app. Peaches Stergo “repeatedly lied” to the 87-year-old man she was dating and bought a boat, condominium, home in a gated community, numerous cars, and took expensive trips, According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
A California One man claimed to be a millionaire.Tole $1.5 Million from 19 Victims He had a romantic relationship with many people. The Department This is Justice Ze’Shawn Stanley Campbell, 35, told his victims he was a successful real estate and cryptocurrency investor and was a Navy A SEAL who served in Iraq And Afghanistan.
While Romance scammers love online dating apps. According to the FTC, scammers may also start by sending private messages on social media. At A minimum of 40% of victims of romance scams reported being contacted by social media. Only 19% reported that they were contacted through an app or website.
What What are the warning signs of a romance con artist? What To be on the lookout for.
- Romance Scammers will convince you to believe anything they tell. According to the FTC, they are unable to meet face-to-face because they are in the military, traveling or working on an oil rig.
- They You will be asked for money and told how to pay. It can be wired, gift card or money transfer app. SoIt’s a scam if your new love interest asks you for money.
- If They ask for a package. It’s a scam.
- If According to the FBI, they might try to isolate and extort your family or ask for inappropriate financial information or photos.
- If It’s a red flag if they ask you to stop using a dating site to communicate via social media.
The FBI recommends asking lots of questions to ensure that the person you are talking to is genuine. You can also use their profile to look at their photo and research any details such as their name, image, or other information.
Where Can I report a romance fraud?
Amritpal Kaur Sandhu-Longoria is the consumer watchdog investigative reporter on USA TODAY’s Money team. Send Send her your tips [email protected], @AmritpalKSL, or on Signal Phone: (279) 889-2462