Online dating and social media have made it easier than ever to meet new people and find dates. Unfortunately, though, it has made scammers’ work simpler, too. Con artists create compelling backstories and full-fledged identities, then trick victims into falling for someone who doesn’t even exist.
How the Scam Works:
Most romance scams start with fake profiles on online dating sites, created by stealing photos and text from real accounts or elsewhere. Scammers often claim to be in the military or working overseas to explain why they can’t meet in person. Over a short period of time, the scammer builds a fake relationship with their target, exchanging photos, romantic messages, evening talking on the phone or through a webcam.
But just when the relationship seems to be getting serious, the new sweetheart has a problem: a health issue or family emergency, or wants to plan a visit. No matter the story, the request is the same: they need money. But after the victim sends money, there’s another request, and then another. Or the scammer stops communicating altogether.
Special thanks to BBB of Northeastern California for the video.
How to Spot a Romance Scam:
Be wary of any dating prospect who:
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