What is a Romance Scam?

From real online dating sites to online communication between people of the opposite sex, online and physical exchanges in the 21st century are no longer an uncommon practice. The dangers that can arise from these practices and how to avoid being exploited are no different from the times of old – scams, deceit, imposter scams, and fraud are commonplace today.

Romance scams can take many forms and are usually found in the heart of cybercriminals. These scams are very deceiving – they promise the best of themselves in order to trick people and/or take their money. Love-seekers get caught up in a web of manipulation and lies, giving their personal information out and making transactions that they may not have been aware of to make them part of an unsuspecting victim group.

Who are the victims of a romance scam?

There are actually two types of people who fall victim to romance scams. The first is women. This type of fraud happens most often because women trust men more than men trust women.

Women are the target of romance scams because they are usually the ones who initiate contact.

Women are the targets because they are usually the ones who initiate contact. They are usually not the type to trust anyone they don’t know, and will often give more personal information than the scammer would expect.

The other type of victim is men. This type of fraud happens because men typically allow themselves to be lured by women they meet online.

What can I do if I’ve been scammed?

While scammers pose as women and men, their actions are dictated by greed.

How do they get scammed?

With the easy accessibility to the Internet and social media, it is very easy to cheat people without you knowing about it. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to gain the attention of potential victims, you just need to try to lure them into a false sense of security. Once the scammer has gained your trust, they typically ask you for money.

Fake profiles

Scammers use social media and dating sites to make profiles that they can easily manipulate. They create fake profiles and lure their victims with them. Once someone is talking to them on social media, they will probably believe that they are interested in them romantically. Many times, these fake profiles are created and developed by scammers to lure people.

What are the warning signs of a romance scam?

Learn the different types of romance scams and how to avoid them.

Red flag

A person normally is not just bombarded with inquiries and the scammer’s threats of arrest or deportation. A friendship online typically is established by them constantly communicating with you. The majority of scam victims have talked to the scammer for a few days and not even realized they are being scammed until it’s too late. Usually, the scammer warns the victim that if he or she won’t agree to their request, the victim won’t be able to access their bank accounts or be deported back to his or her country. The amount of money the scammer asks for is usually a lot more than what you can afford to lose and the guilt must be overwhelming.

Is there anything that can be done to avoid being scammed?

Absolutely! In 2017, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received more than 15,000 reports from victims, many of whom had invested up to thousands of dollars. You may be too embarrassed to report the scam, or you may not know where to begin. Once you become aware that you’ve fallen for the scam, it’s important to take action.

Contact your local police department and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Also, take the following precautions:

Be cautious of any relationship or exchange of gifts with someone you don’t know.

Do not send any money or gifts to someone you don’t know.

Be careful when meeting up with anyone you don’t know.

Do not give your banking information to anyone without knowing their identity.

Be wary of relationships that progress too quickly

There’s nothing wrong with starting a relationship with someone. However, when you initiate a relationship on a social networking site, it’s important to take your time to get to know that person. For example, many websites allow you to only contact one person at a time. You don’t have to reply to every message that is sent to you. If a person feels pressured to send messages out to many people, they might be a scammer.

Keep in mind that the person you are contacting might be a scammer

You can assume that anyone you meet on social media sites is a scammer, as they’re just there to target lonely people who are looking for love. So be cautious, and make sure that you’re looking at a profile that’s been made up to look like the person is a real person.

Don’t share personal information with strangers

Tempted by a glimpse of a second-place trophy in a photo or your ex with a new girlfriend? Is your new friend able to convince you to visit her lonely apartment to spend a few nights away from home? It’s time to stop ignoring these red flags.

Leaving your wallet, cell phone, and keys behind can put you at risk for something big. Over 80% of romance scams begin online, and many begin with a fake Facebook profile or a fake email. Many victims end up falling for a quick romance and sending money or giving out personal information, including bank accounts and social security numbers, in hopes that their “intimacy” will last. Sadly, this deception is something that happens all the time, and this is something that is very easy to avoid.

Beware of people who want to keep you isolated from your friends and family

Do not be afraid to tell the truth about your personal life.

Never send money to people you’ve never met face to face or never sent a request or request for money before

Never send money or give personal financial information to someone you’ve never met in person, who contacted you via the Internet