With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, social media networks and online dating sites are popular destinations for many singles looking to find that someone special. Unfortunately, fraudsters are out there too, and they often create fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money.
According to the FBI, over $220 million was lost in 2016 to online romance scam artists. Older Americans in particular have been targeted by this type of scam.
Online dating can open doors to loving, happy relationships, but we have seen an increase in the number of reports of criminals using these platforms to take advantage of unsuspecting users.
To help navigate the online dating world, here are a few tips so that you approach these relationships with caution. We can’t help mend a broken heart, but we can help avoid an empty wallet.
- Slow down, don’t rush into a relationship. Scammers often look for individuals that want to rush things, thinking they can get their money quickly. Take your time to get to know the person, and share your experiences with someone you trust.
- Never wire money to an online love interest, a scammer could take your money and never communicate with you again.
- Never put money on a gift card or cash reload card. This is a popular method of scammers to get your money.
If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam, contact your bank right away.
valentines_day_online_scams.jfif (9.3 kb)