What is a Romance Scam?
Love is in the air….and trying to get into your wallet. Online dating is becoming more dangerous for you and your personal information, below you can read more about the risks of online dating and signs to watch out for when getting to know someone.
Anyone who has been single in their adult life can tell you is that finding that special person is difficult, even with the convenience of online dating services. If that was not already challenging enough, there is always the looming possibility of a Scammer trying to squeeze you for every penny you have. Romance Scams are thought of only targeting a certain age group but with the rise of dating apps, swiping left or right has never been easier to do while on the go, there is no age group that is specifically targeted. Social media also plays a part in this, it is so easy to create fake profiles that will easily “corroborate” that the individual you have been chatting with is “real”.
Romance scams focus on the manipulation of the targets’ emotions, beginning with building a rapport. The goal is to create a sense of connection between the target and the persona the scammer is portraying to create trust and eventually love. The long game is played here, because if requests are made too soon most of the time the target is going to become suspicious of the encounter. So, they continue to be in constant communication, asking about you, admiring, and the scammer will even “share” common interests with you. This is called Love bombing, it is done from the start and the extreme flattery and attention begins, later used as a way to guilt the potential victim into agreeing to requests like sending them money.
The request is not a “Can you spot me thirty dollars for gas?”, but rather an elaborate story that can range from a family member dying and needing money for funeral expenses. Another is they traveled to a foreign country and are stuck because their personal belongings have been lost/stolen. Each situation is different, but the signs are generally the same, so what do we need to look out for?
Always stick to the website:
Scammers will almost immediately try to coax their victims away from the dating services website they originally began conversation on. Why? For some Online dating services there are automatic warnings that appear when certain messages are sent like phone numbers or a specific question that is asked that can indicate the conversation will be moving to another platform. Its best to stick to conversation on app/website.
Meet in person:
It is advised to meet in public and in person. In this technological era, voice alternators are a thing. Voice messages can easily be made using a completely different voice. Meet the individual in person, and confirm they are not avoiding a person-to-person meeting.
Keep money out of it:
Avoid any conversations having to do about where you bank, and what services you use. No talk of loans, mortgages, vehicles, avoid specific details. If you are asked to open a new account, wire out money for a difficult situation or take out a sort of loan for this “partner” you have met, end that conversation. Guilt tripping will come into play here and that’s understandable, as humans we feel the urge to empathize with another’s feelings, but again this is the manipulation at work.
If you are not sure, that is why you have us, your Credit Union! Trust your gut that tells you something is not right, or if you are not sure, give us a call. Tell us the details and we can confirm for you if something is off.
We guarantee you are not the first person looking for love and finding a pick pocket. Let’s keep love in our hearts and out of our wallets!
Click here to contact us by phone if you have any more questions about a romance scam or other types of scams.
Post Author: Angelica Garcia
The opinions expressed on this page are for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author of the article and may not reflect the views of the credit union.