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.