FBI warns: Don’t fall for romance scams ahead of Valentine’s Day | #lovescams | #datingapps

As one of the most romantic days of the year approaches Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is raising awareness of online romance scams, also known as confidence fraud, where scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners on dating websites, apps, and social media platforms. 

In a romance scam, the criminal is able to trick the victim into giving away access to financial or personal identifying information. Romance scams are prevalent around Valentine’s Day, the FBI said. 

During a romance scam, the suspect might use a fake online identity to gain the victim’s trust and admiration. The scammer will most likely use a dating app or social media site to do this. They look to establish a relationship as quickly as possible with the victim and may even propose marriage or make plans to meet in person, all with the intention of eventually asking for money, the FBI said. 

FBI agents elaborated that in order to avoid meeting in person, romance scammers often claim to live or work in other
parts of the country or world. Eventually, when they feel they have gained the trust of their victims, these criminals will request money from them, oftentimes for a made-up medical emergency, an unexpected legal fee, or some other false purpose. 

Romance scams and confidence schemes have resulted in one of the highest amounts of financial losses when compared to other Internet-facilitated crimes. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, roughly 19,000 victims reported over $700,000,000 in losses in 2022. That same year, nearly 1200 victims in the Greater Los Angeles Area reported more than $122,000,000 in losses.

Those most at risk for being targets of these schemes are women over the age of 40 who are widowed, divorced, elderly or disabled. 

The FBI said for anyone meeting someone online it is important to research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the image has been used elsewhere. Beware if the individual quickly asks you to leave the dating site to go ‘offline.’ 

If the individual tries to isolate you from friends and family, makes plans to visit but then always cancels because of some sort of emergency, or professes love quickly, these can be red flags, investigators said. 

The FBI reiterated never to send money to anyone you have only communicated with online or by phone. If you are the victim of a romance scam, file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. 

Click Here For The Original Story

. . . . . . .