Last year, people reported losing $143 milion to romance scams – that’s higher total than for any other type of scam reported to the FCT. The Valentine’s Day is almost here and the reports of romance scams are on the rise. Romance scammers are people you meet online, who are nice to you and give you attention and then ask for money. Scammers might claim they need it for a medial emergency or for trip to visit you. We’re talking about people who can steal the identity of a real person.
Just like with real romance, it will take them time to build a trustworthy relationship but their payoff can be big. If you suspect a romance scam, cut off contact right away.
How can you avoid romance scams?
- Never send money or gifts to a person you haven’t met.
- 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.