With the popularity of online dating sites, social networking and chat rooms, scammers are now using these sites to meet potential victims.
What is an online dating scam?
An online dating scam (also known as a romance scam) occurs when a scammer targets victims using an online dating site, social media or chat room. The scammer creates a fake profile, develops relationships with people they meet online and then asks those people for money.
Signs you may be a victim of a scam:
- They quickly profess their love
- They ask for money to pay for emergencies, hospital bills or travel
- They plan to visit but an unexpected emergency prevents them
- They claim to be from the U.S. but are overseas for business, military service or traveling
- They quickly lure you off of the dating site
Tips to know:
- Slow down – discuss the situation with someone you trust, and don’t let the scammer rush you
- Never wire money or send cash, a gift card or a cash reload card to someone you meet online
- Contact your bank right away if you think you are a victim of a scam
- Report the scam to the online dating website, the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center
Federal Trade Commission, Online Dating Scams, https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0004-online-dating-scams
American Bankers Association Foundation, Online Dating Scams Infographic, https://www.aba.com/Tools/Infographics/Pages/Infographic-Online-Dating-Scams.aspx