Security Alert: Romance Scams
Online dating platforms and social media sites can be a great place to meet that special someone. But those sites are also full of scammers looking to exploit people for their hard-earned money.
Luckily, if you know the warning signs of a romance scammer, they’re easy to avoid. Here are a few common indicators that your online date is a con artist:
- The person claims to be unable to meet you face-to-face. Typically, romance scammers pretend that they work construction outside the U.S., are serving in the military overseas, or have some other excuse that they can’t meet you in person.
- They need money urgently. Romance scammers use urgency to encourage people to send money right away. They may say they need money for medical expenses, unexpected legal fees, plane tickets to see you, or any number of reasons that force you to act NOW.
- They want you to invest. Scammers may also encourage you to invest in cryptocurrency, or a bogus up-and-coming technology or business. Every cent will go straight into the scammer’s accounts.
- They ask for strange methods of payment. Common payment methods requested by romance scammers include gift card numbers, cryptocurrency, or wire transfer.
- The person seems too perfect. Scammers will use fake photos of incredibly attractive people to reel in potential victims. Then they’ll claim to have all of the same interests and ideas as you – which is no coincidence. They’ve most likely studied your online profiles to figure out what you’d like most in a partner, so they can make a quick connection.
- They want to communicate over text or email instead of through the dating app. If you meet someone online and one of the first things they do is suggest moving your conversation to email or text, that’s a major red flag. Getting ahold of your email and phone number makes you that much easier to scam.
You should never send money or personal information to someone you don’t know through the internet or over the phone.
If you think that you’ve encountered a romance scammer, you should block that person and report them to the dating app or social media site. If believe you are the victim of a romance scam, don’t hesitate to contact CoreFirst Bank & Trust and report the scam with the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357 or www.ftc.gov.