SALT LAKE CITY — Valentine’s Day is more than two months away, so you might think New Year’s Day is time to talk about love. But criminals are looking to rip you off by playing on your emotions in the form of romance scams.
Overall, the U.S. saw a massive jump of nearly 60% more romance scams this year over last year.
And in Utah, we’ve got more romance scams per capita than California, Texas, Florida and New York — more than 1,000 scams on Utahns this year.
The FTC said in 2020, reported losses to romance scams reached a record $304 million, up about 50% from 2019.
And comparitech.com, which broke down these crime statistics, said romance scams account for the largest financial losses of all internet crimes in the U.S.
Tips to spot these scams
- Does the person say they want to communicate privately, away from a legit dating app or website?
- Do they say they live overseas?
- Do they have poor spelling and grammar?
- Does the relationship seem to be moving way too quickly?
- And are they asking for money in any form?
The best way to vet a potential online love interest is to have your friends and family take a look. Sometimes love is blind and it can make those seeking love blind to some pretty obvious warning signs of a scam.
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