A Surge in Imposter Websites and Catfishing Schemes | #datingscams | #lovescams

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued an urgent caution to the public regarding potential scams. As the holiday of love approaches, criminals are gearing up to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals through a variety of deceitful tactics. In particular, the BBB warns against the rise in imposter websites and catfishing schemes designed to steal personal and financial information.

Impersonation and Fake Jewelry Sales

Fraudsters have been known to impersonate genuine businesses and individuals on dating sites, exploiting the trust and affection of their victims. In addition, fake jewelry sales see a surge during this time, as scammers lure customers in with seemingly unbeatable deals. Milagros Johnson, from the Springfield Mayor’s Office of Consumer Information, advises against sharing sensitive information such as bank details or retirement savings with anyone online.

Romance Scams – A Global Concern

However, this is not just an issue in the United States. A major Australian bank has also issued a similar warning after an estimated $33 million was lost to romance scams last year alone. In response, the bank is introducing payment alerts to help customers identify potential red flags. Meanwhile, the Cyber Security Authority reports an alarming loss of GH¢3,558,940 through online shopping and romance scams in Ghana in 2023.

Be Vigilant, Stay Safe

The authorities, including the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the Ontario Provincial Police, urge individuals to exercise due diligence in their online activities, especially during Valentine’s Day. They are encouraging people to be extra vigilant of unsolicited emails or texts offering great deals. If anyone suspects they have been targeted by a romance scam, they should cease all communication with the suspected scammer and report the incident immediately.

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