Beware Of Romantic Scams! Rs 7500 Crore Robbed From Vulnerable Lovers In Last 365 Days
The US’ FBI reported that 24,000 victims across the United States lost around $1 billion to romance scams.
The true number might be a lot higher since many were not reported.
A romance scam refers to when a criminal takes on a fake online identity to gain their victim’s affection and trust.
They exploit the victims’ feelings under the illusion of a romantic relationship to manipulate and/or steal from them.
How They Work
These criminals will appear to be genuine, caring, and believable and will be present on most dating and social media sites.
They operate by establishing relationships quickly, endearing themselves to the victim and gaining their trust.
They may then propose marriage, make plans to meet face to face which never happens.
They instead ask for money to make these grand ideas reality.
They make excuses such as being in the building and construction industry and engaged in projects outside the country.
They use such fraudulent statements to make their case for asking for money for a medical emergency or unexpected legal fee more believable.
The thumb rule is that if anyone asks for your bank account info to deposit money, the person is likely using it to carry out other theft and fraud schemes.
Always be careful about what you post and information you air publicly and online.
Scammers make use of such info that is freely available, then make use of it to manipulate and target you for their next scheme.
The FBI suggests the following steps to follow before developing a romantic relationship with someone you meet online:
- Research their photo and profile using online searches to check if it’s copied from elsewhere
- Move slowly and ask lots of questions
- Exercise caution if the person seems too perfect or quickly ask you to leave a dating service or social media site to communicate directly
- Watch out for attempts by the scammer to isolate you from friends and family or if they request inappropriate photos or financial information
They can later use this info to extort you.
What To Avoid
Become alert if the individual promises to meet you in person but backs out at the last moment with an excuse.
NEVER send money, cryptocurrency, or gift cards to anyone you have only communicated with online or by phone, regardless of how in love you are or how in love they say they are with you.
If you suspect you may be targeted for a crime, stop all contact immediately and file a complaint with the concerned authorities.
You can report scams whether or not you’ve lost money.