How do you stop a romance scam?

How do you stop a romance scam?

We’ve talked about a lot of scams over the past few years, however, one that we barely touched on is the romance scam. The romance scam is exactly what it sounds like. A scammer will pose as a variety of people claiming to be looking for a relationship. They’ll pose as men and women on dating sites as well as social media. The scammers will use any and all information that you’ve shared on your profiles in order to lull you into a false sense of security before hitting you with a request for money. We’re not talking small amounts either. Some victims have lost anywhere from thousands to over a million dollars. It’s unknown how many victims of this scam there truly are since many of them are too embarrassed to come forward.

One family from the Midwest is said to be currently living this nightmare as a member of their family reportedly does not believe it’s a scam and continues to send money to someone claiming to be a woman from overseas. Even after being confronted by his family the man refused to stop communicating with the woman and is said to have sent $34,000 to the supposed woman. Unfortunately, the family is helpless to do anything since the man won’t go to the authorities himself.

So what happens when a victim runs out of money? They can become unwitting pawns in a money laundering scheme. The scammer will then claim to be paying them back and send the victims phony checks. This is when the old phony check scam kicks in. The victim will be asked to cash the phony check and send a portion of it to a third party. The FBI has the following tips on how to avoid being a victim.

  • Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the material has been used elsewhere.
  • Go slow and ask lots of questions.
  • Beware if the individual seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or Facebook to go “offline.”
  • Beware if the individual attempts to isolate you from friends and family or requests inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used to extort you.
  • Beware if the individual promises to meet in person but then always comes up with an excuse why he or she can’t.
  • If you haven’t met the person after a few months, for whatever reason, you have good reason to be suspicious.
    Never send money to anyone you don’t know personally. “If you don’t know them, don’t send money,”

If you’ve been the victim of a romance scam you can contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at their website.