Be Cautious of Romance Scams

So which states have the biggest problems with catfishing—and which have the least? We looked at FBI and Census data to determine your likelihood of being scammed in romance. Catfishing usually refers to online romance scams where someone uses a fake online profile to attract victims. Still, it can also come in the form of family, friends, or business relationships. The non-western states with the highest rates of catfishing are New Hampshire, Minnesota, Florida, and Maryland. Compared to their western counterparts, people in the Midwest and South seem better clued into the catfishing scams—or perhaps the West is better about reporting? In terms of cost per victim, the top three states could all buy a self-driving dual-motor AWD Tesla Cybertruck and still have some change left over to go on some fancy dates.

Dating, holiday and ticketing fraud

A failed relationship could give you a broken heart, but it shouldn’t leave you out of pocket. Scammers are drawn to dating sites because they know that the people on there are looking to make a personal connection, and they can use this to their advantage. The catfishing from the original documentary started on Facebook , but you can also be catfished on dating apps like Tinder, in chatrooms or even through fake video chats on Skype. If you come across a fake profile you should report it to the dating site or social network wherever possible.

Where catfishing can become illegal is if the scammer uses the fake profile to trick you into sending them money. This is fraud, and it is against the law.

How to Spot the Signs of a Romance Scammer and Report Online Dating Scams · 1. Romance scammers profess love quickly, without actually.

Thanks to online dating scams, each year thousands of Americans who are searching for love end up with nothing but a broken heart and an empty wallet. While online dating and social media sites have become increasingly popular tools to find love and friendship, they’ve unfortunately also become popular tools for fraudsters known as romance scammers. These con artists create fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money. According to the Better Business Bureau, victims in the U.

Older users, in particular, are more often targeted by this type of scam — and most don’t realize they are a victim until it is too late. We also have information about how to report a dating scammer if you or someone you love has fallen victim to one. Romance scammers are experts in social manipulation and can sound very convincing. Many of the signs of a romance scammer are subtle and insidious because the scammer is trying to build trust before they exploit you.

How to spot and avoid online dating scams

Running romance scams is a full-time job for some scammers and they can be very good at it. In reality, actual losses are likely much higher. A scammer pretends to be in a relationship with someone online in order to scam them out of money. They do this through email, social media, dating websites and other website and apps. They will have a fake backstory, family, friends and job.

Sh’reen Morrison had been on an online dating site for only a few a scam reduces the chance that you’ll report the crook to the relevant site.

Scammers are using new online platforms to take advantage of their victims, with dating and romance scams making up one fifth of losses across all scams reported to Scamwatch in Around Beyond traditional online dating websites, the highest losses were from romance scams originating on Instagram and Facebook. Conventional dating platforms, such as Tinder or Match.

A new trend emerging in was scammers increasingly turning to apps like Google Hangouts, or online games such as Words with Friends and Scrabble to con their victims. Scammers try to make their target fall in love with the persona they have created and quickly profess their love for the victim. While less common, there have also been instances of scammers meeting their victim in person and requesting money.

People who think they may have provided their banking details to a scammer should contact their bank or financial institution as soon as possible.

Live 5 Scambusters: Romance scammer reveals tricks of the trade

A number of factors have converged in recent times, spurred on by corona-vibes. The first is an increased probability of meeting online. Since , Tinder in particular has hastened the virtual-love frequency.

Cease all contact and block phone numbers, IM accounts, and email addresses.

Dating and romance scams are very destructive — both financially and emotionally. These scams also cause significant emotional harm, with many victims reporting a break down in relationships with friends and family. With the proliferation of online dating websites, forums and social media channels, these scams are moving increasingly into the online space. Online communication channels allow scammers to operate anonymously from anywhere in the world.

They can be very elaborate hoaxes, sometimes taking years to develop and run by experienced criminal syndicates. The scammer develops a strong connection with the victim before asking for money to help cover costs associated with a supposed illness, injury, family crisis, travel costs or to pursue a business or investment opportunity. There have been reports of scammers using this material to blackmail victims.

Watch out: If an online admirer asks to communicate with you outside the dating website, such as through a private email address or over the phone, watch out — they could be trying to avoid detection. If you are considering meeting in person, choose a public place and let family or friends know where you are at all times. Search: Run a Google Image search to check the authenticity of any photos provided. Report: If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

Report international scams online!

If you have a complaint about how a company is handling your personal information, click privacy concerns. The site provides streamlined checklists and sample letters to guide you through the recovery process. Visit ftc.

and contact your local police. File a report with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre – or online.

The FBI is advising consumers to be wary when using online dating sites after the agency saw a 70 percent annual increase in reported romance scams. Cybercriminals are reportedly using online dating sites to trick victims into sending money, providing personal and financial information, or even unknowingly acting as a money mule by relaying stolen funds. Learn these tips for keeping yourself—and your financial accounts—better protected when meeting people online.

Romance scams, also called confidence scams, are when a bad actor deceives a victim into believing they have a trusted relationship and then uses the relationship to persuade the victim to give money, personal and financial information, or items of value to the perpetrator. The initial grooming phase can last for days, weeks, or even months , and by that time, the victim may be extremely vulnerable to the scam. Techniques of romance scammers are varied and may include:.

However, elderly people, women, and those who have lost a spouse are often targeted.

Coronavirus: Loneliness and lockdown exploited in romance scams

File a Consumer Complaint. Romance scammers prey upon feelings, resulting in some of the biggest scam losses — often in the thousands of dollars per victim. Scammers use profiles not only on dating sites but also other social media websites to reach out where you might not be expecting. They use many methods to try to gain your trust.

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A romance scam, dating scam, or catfishing is a swindle where someone tries to lure another into giving them money through a dating site, email romance, or other dating-related contact. This article focuses on the folks who have already fallen prey to a dating scam, and what they can do about it. The first step is to stop communicating with the person trying to romance scam you. Don’t answer their phone calls, block all of their emails or send them to a folder reserved for future litigation purposes , and don’t reply to their instant messages whether in a chat program, on your cell phone, or at a dating site.

Make hard copies of everything the dating scammer gave or sent to you and keep them in a file or binder for safekeeping. Most dating scams are perpetrated through Western Union. If this is how you sent the funds, check with the company to see if they can be canceled before being picked up. When the dating scam occurs through a dating site, make sure to report it through their website. Victims should also check out the FBI’s website dedicated to online fraud called Looks Too Good To Be True , which offers scam reporting for citizens of any country, regardless of their location.

You may also want to contact the local authorities, although they may not be able to help with much else than the documentation needed in the next step of this process.

Woman loses $150,000 in online dating scam