HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is urging consumers across the Hoosier State to be aware of romance scams ahead of the holiday season.
“Online dating is a popular route for a lot of people these days in their search for true love,” Attorney General Rokita says. “In some cases, innocent people are connecting with scammers who lie and cheat them out of their hard-earned money instead. Protecting Hoosiers from fraudsters is one of my office’s top priorities.”
Rokita says that perpetrators of these scams prey on unsuspecting matches by creating fake profiles online, often going to great lengths to pose as prospective romantic partners with similar interests so they can lure people into providing gifts, money or personal information.
Officials say that this year alone, one Westfield resident lost nearly $100,000 to one of these scams. According to the FBI, victims of romance scams lost $1 billion in 2021.
Rokita says there are several warning signs that someone might be more interested in your money or personal information than in a relationship:
- They send a picture that doesn’t look realistic. They may look more like a model from a fashion magazine.
- The relationship is moving quickly, with the scammer rapidly professing their love for the victim.
- The scammer tries to isolate the victim from their friends and family.
- The scammer requests inappropriate photos or financial information that could be used against the victim.
- The scammer can’t meet in person or communicate on facetime.
- The scammer asks for money to pay for transportation to come visit, help pay for medical costs (either for them or a family member) or invest in a business.
- The money requests include payment methods that are hard to recoup, such as wire transfer, preloaded gift cards, cryptocurrency or a money transfer app.
If you ever suspect a scam of any type, you can call Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office at 1-800-382-5516 or file a complaint here.