The Missouri Attorney General’s Office is warning consumers about romance scams. Romance scams occur when a scammer uses an online fake identity to earn the trust and affection of a consumer to steal money or personal information.
According to the AGO, individuals should be mindful about what you post and make public online. Scammers can use details shared on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you. To avoid falling victim:
- Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the image, name or details have been used elsewhere.
- Ask lots of questions.
- Beware if the individual seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or social media site to communicate directly.
- Beware if the individual attempts to isolate you from friends and family or requests inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used to extort you.
- Beware if the individual promises to meet in person but then comes up with excuses why he or she can’t.
- Never send money to anyone you have only communicated with online or by phone. This includes not wiring money or purchasing gift cards or reload cards like MoneyPak. Contact your bank right away if you think you have sent money to a scammer.
If you think you are a victim of a romance scam, please contact the Missouri Attorney General’s Office at (800) 392-8222.