Maybe your Valentine’s Day date should start with a background check.
Driving the news: Romance scams have reached at least a five-year high, according to reports submitted to the Federal Trade Commission.
By the numbers: 56,000 Americans reported losing $547 million in love-bait ploys in 2021, up from 17,000 reporting $87 million in losses in 2017.
- The new Netflix documentary “The Tinder Swindler” details the exploits of alleged serial conman Shimon Hayut, who “was able to scam women out of approximately $10 million” through dating apps, according to GQ. He has reportedly denied the allegations.
How it works: Romance scammers often use fake online profiles with attractive photos, according to the FTC.
- They will often avoid meeting in person, creating elaborate stories as to why they can’t, the FTC reports.
- More than one-third of romance scams started on Facebook or Instagram in 2021.
The bottom line: If your prospective love interest wants money, swipe left.