Beware of Romance Scammers! What is a Romance Scam? A Romance Scam is when a scammer fakes a relationship with their target to get personal information and/or money. The scammers will seduce the victim and form a seemingly perfect relationship. After they have formed a relationship, they will say they need help and ask you for money, credit card information, banking information, etc. This is not exclusive to dating sites; scammers will target you through social media, email, Craigslist, and many more websites! Warning Signs: The scammers will profess strong feelings for you in a short time period Their profile will not match information they tell you (ex: They say they have an English degree, but don’t use proper grammar) After gaining your trust, they tell you an elaborate story and ask for money Their messages are usually poorly written and vague If you don’t agree to send money, then their messages become desperate How to Protect Yourself: NEVER send money to someone you have not met in person! NEVER give someone your banking information, such as your online/mobile banking information, credit/debit card information, and social security number. Be alert to inconsistencies in their stories Use an image search engine on their profile to ensure they are who they say they are Be cautious about sending personal pictures or videos (they can blackmail you, if you send compromising photos) Never transfer money for someone else (money laundering is illegal) The FBI has detailed accounts of Romance Scams and more information at https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/romance-scams.