What are romance scams?
In romance scams, the scammer creates a fake online profile often using photos of other people. They will usually profess their love quickly and share made-up stories with reasons for desperately needing money. Sometimes the scammers will even involve their victim in online bank fraud without the victim realizing they are aiding and abetting a crime.
What are some warning signs?
- A scammer will often request to chat off of the dating site immediately. They may ask to communicate via email, text, or phone. This way their messages are harder to trace back to them.
- When asking for their money payment, the scammer will often request that the money be wired to them using Western Union or Money Gram. Again, these are harder to trace back to the individual.
- A scammer may even ask a victim to set up a new bank account.
- If you do an image search on the profile picture and the person’s photo appears under several different names, it’s a scammer.
- A scammer will also make up excuses for not being able to meet in real life.
The Federal Trade Commission warns, if someone you met online asks you to send money, you can expect that it’s a scam.