Here are some tips to be aware of romance scamming on the Internet:
- The relationship escalates quickly although you have never met. You get messages like “I am falling for you” or “I love you” after only a few days of talking to each other. The scammer will insist that the connection with you is so strong, that they are sure that you are their soul mate.
- Asking for money. This is the clearest sign that you are being defrauded or about to be defrauded. It can start with a small amount, just to test the waters.
- The scammer may send you many text messages or calls daily. This is called Love Bombing.
- Come up with a dramatic story also known as sob stories. This is a ploy to get your sympathy and make it easier to convince you to send money. Sob stories can range from family drama to getting robbed or losing their job.
What do you do?
- Never send money to someone you have never met in person: Scammers will often ask for money to cover expenses such as travel or medical bills.
- Do not share personal information, such as your full name, address, or financial information: This information can be used to steal your identity or access your bank accounts.
- Be suspicious of someone who constantly has an excuse for not meeting in person: Scammers often use this tactic to keep the virtual relationship going without ever having to meet in person.
- Reverse image search their profile picture: Scammers often use stock photos or images from social media profiles of real people to create their fake profile. A reverse image search can help you determine if the picture is genuine or not.
- Trust your instincts: If something feels off about the person you are communicating with, listen to your gut feeling and end the relationship.