Your Guide to Spotting Military Romance Scams | #lovescams | #military | #datingscams

Warning signs 

Scammers can be charming and charismatic and are good at making you feel you’ve finally found love, according to Anderson. The scammer is likely to shower you with attention and affection, a strategy called “love bombing.” And you’re likely to feel a sense of sexual magnetism.  

“The problem with those warning signs is they sound wonderful,” Andersen said. “Who wouldn’t want to meet a date who is charming and exciting, and thinks you’re wonderful, and thinks you’re destined to be together?”  

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But if your antennae are up, you’ll see the intense and rushed bout of affection as a red flag. “If someone professes love within a day or two, that would be a concern,” Cyprian said.

How to protect yourself from romance scams

Be prepared and listen to your gut. “The most important thing is to trust your intuition,” Andersen said. “Your body will warn you that something is off. The key is to listen when you get that warning.”

Another red flag is urgent or rushed requests for money, especially demands to send it digitally overseas or an insistence that you keep your help a secret.

“You should never send money to someone you haven’t met face-to-face or have a mutual friend who can vouch for that individual,” Cyprian said. “If they create artificial deadlines to rush you, that’s something I’d be concerned about. If they tell you not to tell anyone about the relationship or what you’re about to do, that would be a red flag.”

What to do if you’ve been scammed

Cut off all communication if you suspect you’ve been a victim of a romance scam. This can be difficult. “It can be hard for victims to give up on the future that’s been promised to them,” Cyprian said. “But the fraudster won’t stop until you do that.”

Then immediately report the fraud to your financial institution. “Time is of the essence,” Wolfe said. “If you’ve sent a wire and then realize you’ve been scammed, every minute counts.”

Finally, file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center and contact your local FBI field office or other law enforcement agency.

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