Safeguarding Your Heart And Wallet From Romance Scams
As the new year unfolds, beware of romance scammers lurking around your inbox and social media accounts in 2024. In the below article from the Federal Trade Commission, you’ll discover how to identify phony heroes, gestures of affection and monetary requests.
No love for romance scammers in 2024
As your social media and mailboxes fill up with new year’s greetings, you might see some unfamiliar names. Are the messages from long-lost friends or romance scammers trying to get close? Here are some things to watch for.
- Scammers pretend to be heroes in faraway places. The phony Marines, soldiers, admirals, generals, diplomats, and surgeons claim they can’t speak or show their faces because they’re in Afghanistan, Ukraine, or South Sudan — but they aren’t.
- Scammers say they’re in love. You can’t meet these faraway “friends” in person, but they’ll chat with you daily. Too soon, they surprise you with declarations of love, or ask to marry you, and say you can share all your secrets (and money) with them now. Don’t believe them.
- Scammers ask for expensive favors. They might ask you to accept a package of cash, gems, and gold and pay the fake “shipping fee” that really goes in their pocket. Or, they ask for new phones to replace broken ones or beg for gift cards and presents for the “kids they left back home.” (There aren’t any kids.) If you say OK to one request, they come back with another, and then another.
- Scammers always ask for money. They make plans to visit but tell you they’re delayed by costly problems: a lost airline ticket or visa, a medical emergency, or a blocked account. They say if you could send them some money, they could still come see you. But the minute your online love interest asks for money, you know it’s a scam. Want to know who else is a scammer? Anyone who asks you to share account numbers, send gift cards or wire transfers, or pay with payment apps or cryptocurrency.
If you think someone is a scammer, cut off contact. Tell the online app or social media platform right away, and then tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.