FBI San Diego Warns Of Romance Scams Ahead Of Valentine’s Day | #datingscams | #lovescams

SAN DIEGO, CA — The FBI’s San Diego field office warned San Diegans to beware of romance scams ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Romance scams, a type of confidence fraud, begin when an individual believes they are in a romantic relationship and are tricked into sending money, personal information, financial information, or items of value to the fraudster. Victims may also be deceived into laundering money or other valuable items to assist the perpetrator.

Confidence fraud and romance scams have resulted in one of the highest amounts of financial losses when compared to other internet-facilitated crimes, according to the FBI. In fact, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received more than 19,000 complaints about confidence fraud in 2022, with reported losses of nearly $740 million.

“In a romance scam, the scammers target and take advantage of people looking for companionship or romantic partners and con them out of their money,” the FBI’s San Diego field office said in a news release. “The criminals who carry out romance scams typically target victims via social media messaging and emails with the intention of establishing a relationship and building trust as quickly as possible.”

The FBI offered these tips to avoid becoming a victim of a romance scam:

  • If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. Trust your instincts.
  • If you suspect an online relationship is a scam, stop all contact immediately.
  • Do not give any personal information or money to anyone you have only communicated with by telephone or online.
  • Be careful what you post online. Scammers can use details shared on social media platforms and dating sites to legitimize their story.
  • If you are planning to meet someone in person you have met online, proceed with caution, especially if you plan to travel to a foreign country. Review the state department’s travel advisories before arranging travel.

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of fraud or knows someone who may be a victim should file a report on ic3.gov or call the FBI San Diego field office at 858-320-1800.

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