What is a romance scam?
Like most online crimes, romance scams are the online equivalent of making threats and torturing someone. This sounds bizarre, but when you look at how romance scams work, you’ll see that it’s a very practical means of robbing someone of their life savings. In the most common variant of romance scams, the scammer asks the victim to wire money. This money transfer is a form of payment used to communicate love. Most romance scams use dating websites, chat rooms, and other social media sites. The scammer lures victims to a meeting location, and then steals thousands of dollars by asking them to wire money. When they do this, the scammer states that the victim is being uncooperative, or they are missing some identifying documents that could jeopardize their safety.
How to protect yourself against romance scams
There are many things to do to protect yourself against romance scams. Firstly, the first thing you should do is research the person you are dating online. It’s always a good idea to be cautious when you’re dealing with people online. You can also learn how to spot a scammer before getting into a relationship with him or her. The scammers will do a variety of deceitful things just to win you over.
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A scammer will ask you to send money for travel, accommodation, and more. If you are dating a legitimate person, he or she will never ask you to do this. All romance scams start with this sort of request, and once you’re hooked, you will quickly get sucked in.
Who is most at risk for romance scams?
The good news is, romance scams are becoming less common in the last few years. In a 2010 study by the FBI, 76% of romance scams were between the ages of 25 and 49, while 22% of romances reported to the FBI involved older victims. The younger age group isn’t immune to romance scams either, so if you’re under 30 and a victim of this crime, you’re not alone. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center also received more than 650 complaints each month involving romance scams in the U.S. since 2010. Since this type of crime involves emotional manipulation by an attacker, it can happen to anyone, at any age.
What to do if you’ve been scammed:
Report the scam immediately to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Why are there so many romance scams happening these days?
There are a variety of reasons why online dating scams are happening. The easiest answer that I can think of is that it’s easy to scam someone online. Scammers know that no one is going to report an online scam to the authorities. Because of this, they’re able to have their way with these potential victims, as they feel more comfortable with a scammer than someone they know or someone that they want to get to know. Online dating and social media have made it easier for scammers to conduct online dating scams. Many of these scams take advantage of potential victims on dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid, Match, and Bumble.
Romance scams are becoming so common that someone sent a fake British Police Force email to me one day.
How to report a potential romance scam on Facebook
If someone is using a fake name on a Facebook profile to lure you in then it is a potential scam. If the person offering you romance scams is demanding money via MoneyGrams, Western Union or other payment system then it is a scam. This has become the new norm and it will not be tolerated by the Facebook community. If you report these types of posts to Facebook and they take action, Facebook will know to put a warning label on that person’s profile or page.
One of the ways to report someone who is operating a romance scam is to click on the “Report” option in the upper right hand corner and type the person’s name into the “Report” box. Facebook will also warn you of fake profiles. You will see a red banner warning you that there is an account that has been reported.
How to report a potential romance scam on Twitter
If you suspect a romance scam is going on, you can report the scammer via Twitter. You will need to tweet a screenshot or a short description of the scam, including the report number (888-CALL-FRAUD) and the tweet @ fraudalerts. The tweet should include the scammer’s email address or phone number along with a request for action. You can use the private message function on Twitter to contact the scammer directly. Follow these steps to report a fraud on Twitter:
Make sure your Twitter account is set up properly before you create the tweet.
Add a verified email address in the email address field and a valid phone number.
You will also need to include the report number.
Promise – you might be forgiven for giving into the pressure and believing it is real and will be legitimate. After all, why would anyone prey on a person’s emotions like this? Are there any negative consequences of investing in someone’s romantic lies and betrayal? But, on the other hand, you must be wary and only invest a little of your time and money, not all. It would be nice if the Internet told you that you are not going to be a victim. But, that is not the case. Be wary of those sweet promises of love, friendship, and happiness.