How Do Romance Scams Work?
There are several common scenarios in which romance scams occur. For example, scammers may claim to be in the military, working overseas, or traveling for business, and ask their targets to send money to cover unexpected expenses or emergencies. In other cases, scammers will claim to have fallen in love with their target and ask for money to help them travel to meet, or to cover expenses related to a business venture.
Regardless of the specifics, the end goal of a romance scam is always the same: to trick the victim into sending money. And once the scammers have what they want, they disappear, leaving their victims heartbroken and out of pocket.
Protect Your Heart – And Your Wallet
To protect yourself from a romance scam, be cautious when meeting people online.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe:
Be wary of anyone who contacts you out of the blue, especially if they are located overseas.
Do not share personal information. This includes your full name, address, or financial details, with anyone you haven’t met in person.
Don’t send money to someone you haven’t met in person, even if they claim to be in a crisis.
Do your research. If someone seems too good to be true, it likely is. You can run a background check on them using their name and any other information they have provided.
Use reputable dating websites that have security measures in place to protect users from scams. Ask friends or look online if you want to remain anonymous in your research.
And always trust your gut. If something seems off or too good to be true, it probably is.
Remember, if you suspect that you are being scammed, the best thing to do is to stop communicating with the person immediately. Then report the scam to the relevant authorities. This could be your local police as well as the Federal Trade Commission.
Romance scams are a growing problem. However, by being vigilant and following some basic safety tips, you can protect yourself from falling victim to these fraudulent schemes. Cyber safety means protecting your world in all aspects, and that includes your heart and your hard drive!