SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – According to the Federal Trade Commission, more consumers than ever are falling victim to romance scammers, with $304 million reportedly stolen in romance scams last year.
According to the FTC, the amount of money lost to romance scams in 2019 is up 50% since 2019 and has quadrupled since 2016.
So, how does a “romance scam” work? Well, the FTC says these scams often involve a scammer luring their victims in using someone else’s pictures from the internet, using them to build false personas border on being just believable enough to be true.
However, the scammer will always have a reason for never meeting in person so they can keep up the act as long as possible.
The FTC says that the median amount lost in a romance scam is $2,500, which is over ten times more than the median amount lost in every other type of fraud.
A study cited by the FTC found that most romance scams start on social media rather than on dating apps.
FTC data also shows that scam victims most often send money to romance scammers via wire transfer or through gift card.
For more tip s on how to spot and protect yourself from a romance scam, visit ftc.gov/romancescams.