BEWARE OF ONLINE ROMANCE SCAMS

Posted on Apr 3, 2020 in Main

Millions of people use online dating apps or social networking sites to meet someone. But instead of finding love, many encounter a scammer trying to steal their money.

The scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps or contact their targets through popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, or Google Hangouts.

The scammers start an online relationship to gain their victim’s trust— even chatting with their victim several times a day. They will often ask their victims to switch their communications to text, email or phone to avoid being traced.

Then suddenly, the scammer will need money urgently, for medical expenses, debt or legal fees, or even to travel to meet you. They will request money, usually by wire transfer or prepaid gift card. DON’T FALL FOR IT!

Be wary of sending money to someone that you’ve never met in person, especially by wire transfer, like Western Union or money gram, or by prepaid cards. Never transfer funds from your bank account.

DON’T SEND MONEY TO SOMEONE YOU MET ONLINE, FOR ANY REASON. IF YOUR ONLINE SWEETHEART ASKS FOR MONEY, YOU CAN EXPECT THAT IT IS A SCAM.

Warning signs
– Your online sweetheart professes love quickly
– Claims to be overseas
– Lures you off the dating site
– Asks for money

Protecting yourself
– Be careful sharing personal information
– Don’t go off the dating site
– Use a separate username and a different email account
– Don’t send or wire money. Once the money is sent it is gone

If you think you have been a victim
– Stop all contact with them
– Block phone numbers, media accounts and email addresses
– Report the Scammer to OCP and the FTC
– Notify the dating site where you met the scammer