Avoiding Romance Scams

Authored By: Rose Samuel on 2/16/2021

Share your heart, not your hard-earned money!

While millions of people are turning to online dating in hopes of finding love, many are building a connection with a scammer trying to steal their money. In 2019, people reported losing $201 million to romance scams, according to the FTC. Learning more about different types of romance scams is crucial to making sure that you or your loved ones don’t fall victim to this type of fraud.

What is a Romance Scam?

Fraudsters often create fake profiles on online dating sites and social media platforms. The scammer will then create a relationship with their targets by building trust and a sense of a romantic interaction. Once the bond is created, sometimes over months, the scammer will strike with sob stories to tug at your heartstrings in hopes of you sending them money.

What are some of the red flags?

  • The fraudster claims to work or live outside of the United States
  • The fraudster is claiming to be in the military
  • The fraudster requests money for a plane ticket, medical expenses, or travel documents
  • The fraudster asks you to send the money through a wire transfer or with gift cards

How do I keep my money safe if I suspect a romance scam?

  • Stop all contact with the fraudster immediately
  • Do not provide any online banking info to the scammer
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Do some online research on the story they have given with the keyword “scam”
  • Do a reverse image search of the pictures they have sent you
  • Contact our 24/7 member support services at 855.835.6328 if you provided any banking info
  • Report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint

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