Dating and romance scams is one of the most common and widespread scams today. In this type of online scam, a person is tricked by a scammer who pretends to be in a romantic relationship with the victim. The scammer or cybercriminal creates a fake identity in dating apps or social media online and tricks the victim by gaining the victim’s trust and ultimately asks or blackmails victims to give money.
Key points about dating and romance scams
In 2019, the FBI reported that Romance scams ranked as the second most reported crime for that year.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), over 25,000 consumers filed cases of romance scams in 2018.
The year 2020 witnessed a significant surge in Romance Scams, with the FTC reporting a staggering $304 Million lost in these scams. The trend continues to rise, and we may expect to see another substantial figure in 2021.
It’s not just individuals aged between 20 and 29 or 40 to 69 who have fallen victim to online dating scams; people above the age of 70 have also become targets of these scams.
How to be safe from dating and romance scams
The foremost and essential preventive measure is refraining from sending money to anyone you haven’t met in person. Even if they send you money first, avoid sending money in return, as it could be part of a scam. Take your time and avoid rushing into a relationship. Scammers are skilled at making people fall in love quickly, so remain cautious, be slow in your approach, and ask questions.
A useful tactic is to conduct a reverse search for the photos provided by the person in question. If the image is associated with another name or details, exercise caution and don’t proceed further. This person may be a Romance Scammer.
Have you fallen victim to a Romance Scam? Report it to the YourScamreport community!
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