This is how the FBI advises to prevent becoming a victim of romance scams

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

Romance is an exciting and blood-rushing type of thing that many people desire to experience. Unfortunately, it is known that many romance scammers can use this to manipulate and hurt their victims to even the point of death. 

Essentially, romantic scams take place when a criminal takes up a false online identity to obtain the trust and affection of their victims. Consequently, the criminals work with the illusion of a romantic bond to manipulate and deceit their victims. 

It is crucial to remember that the criminals who conduct romance scams are professionals in what they do and will put on a false mask to come out as caring, genuine and highly trustworthy. It is not surprising to find these scammers on several social media and online dating sites.

Type of scams

Criminals look up chat rooms, online dating sites, and several social media networking sites where they execute these romantic scams by trying to form a “relationship” with the aim of obtaining your personally identifiable data, stealing your money, or worse yet, to hurt you. 

These romantic scammers exist significantly on numerous social media and online dating sites. They slowly attempt to build a bond or relationship with you as fast as possible and quickly make you a victim of the romantic scams. 

Most may suggest marriage and arrange for a face-to-face meeting, and eventually, they will demand money. Victims of romantic scams may be reluctant to report being hurt or taken advantage of because of the associated humiliation, embarrassment, or shame. 

However, it is imperative always to remember that anyone can be a victim of romantic scams. If you are suspicious about an online relationship, cut all communication immediately. 

If it is too late and you have been scammed of money, it is advisable to contact your financial institution and report the situation immediately directly. 

Photo by Shayna Douglas on Unsplash.

Helpful pointers 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation( FBI) is keen to create awareness about romantic scams, also referred to as confidence fraud, to help the public avoid these hurtful experiences. Notably, the FBI recommends researching the person’s profile and photo with the help of online searches to confirm if the data has been used elsewhere. 

Also, it is advised that you try to slow things down and deeply contemplate the conversations, and do not shy away from asking many questions. Moreover, the public is advised to be cautious if the person seems too good to be true or rapidly suggests that you leave the social media or dating site. 

The FBI insists on being careful if the person is trying to isolate you from your family and friends or even asks for explicit photos or any personal data, whether financial. If there are plans set for a meeting and they fail to show up and make up a lot of excuses, it is time to question what could be happening. 

It is better to be suspicious, especially if you have not met this individual before. If you are open to meeting someone you have met online, it is advisable to share your location with your family and friends and primarily meet in public. 

FBI discourages sending money or sharing any information with anyone who does not know on a personal level. Only use internationally recognized and reputable dating websites with the caution that the criminals may be there too. 

At the same time, do not be too quick to believe deceitful narrations of difficult life situations, injuries, family deaths, or any other tragedies that are pitched to maintain your concern and interest.