Valentine’s Day is here, and romance scammers are on the prowl again. Scammers use fake profiles to pretend to be interested in starting a romantic relationship with people and ultimately trick them into sending money or providing personal information. The goal of these scammers is to build trust with the victim over some time, often weeks or months, and then ask for money or personal information.
In some cases, scammers will create a scenario in which they claim to be in urgent need of money, such as for a medical emergency, a stranded trip, or a business opportunity. They may also claim to be military personnel stationed abroad or working in another country as a way to explain why they cannot meet in person.
Scammers often target vulnerable populations and can be skilled at manipulating their victims into sending them money. It is essential to be cautious when talking to people online and to be careful about sharing personal information or sending money to someone you have never met in person.
It is important to be aware of the signs to avoid falling victim to a romance scam. Some red flags to watch out for include the following:
- Requests for money or personal information: If someone you have never met in person asks for money or personal information, this is a clear sign of a scam.
- Pressure to move the conversation off the dating site: Scammers may want to communicate through email or instant messaging to avoid being detected.
- Conflicting information: If the person’s story changes or if they provide conflicting information, this could be a sign that they are not who they claim to be.
- Poor grammar or spelling: Scammers often use automated tools to generate messages, which can result in poor grammar and spelling.
Read the FBI’s Romance Scams blog to learn more.
Romance scammers are becoming more sophisticated in their tactics, and it is important to be aware of the signs and take appropriate action if you suspect you may be a scam victim. Remember to be cautious when talking to people online and to be careful about sharing personal information or sending money to someone you have never met in person.
It is crucial to take immediate action if you think you may be a victim of a romance scam. Report the situation to the authorities and the website or platform where you met the person. It is also important to cut off all contact with the scammer and to not send them any more money.
Report scams you encounter.
- Forward malicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have been scammed, visit www.ic3.gov and file a complaint.
Chapman University IS&T