More and more consumers are getting caught in romance scams. For three years running, people have reported losing more money on romance scams than on any other fraud type. In 2020, reported losses to romance scams reached a record $304 million, up about 50% from 2019.* People are getting lured into talking to people with phony online profiles, and once a relationship is established, they pull on heartstrings asking for money for medical emergencies or another grave situation. And now, they’re not only using dating apps but social media as well.
Here’s a few tips to spot scammers:
- Never send money or gifts to someone you haven’t met in person.
- Talk to someone you trust about this new relationship. Sometimes, we can be blinded to things that don’t add up because it’s new. Pay attention if your friends or family are concerned.
- Take it slowly. Ask questions and look for inconsistent answers. Try a reverse-image search of the profile pictures. If they’re associated with another name or with details that don’t match up, it’s a scam.
- More tips from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)