(MoneyHippo.com) – Sometimes, it’s obvious when scammers show up in your inbox or call on the phone, but other times it can be less clear. Certain scammers may even target a particular set of people. In March, the FBI warned the public to be on the lookout for romance fraud that caused about $1 billion in losses during 2021.
Romance scams are a widespread problem, with the Federal Trade Commission reporting they resulted in $547 million in losses and rose 80% in 2021. Unfortunately, those estimates are likely low due to underreporting.
Many of these thieves try to swindle money through dating apps, fooling people looking for love or companionship into sending them money. The desperate and fake pleas usually come through private messaging with claims of emergencies to garner sympathy. Not only do they trick lonely people into sending them cash, but they also collect personal information like bank account numbers and birth dates.
Some red flags indicating you’re dealing with a scammer include those who want to communicate outside the dating app, people who ask for inappropriate photos or videos, and individuals asking for money. To avoid becoming a victim, thoroughly research any potential love interest, beware of the information you share, and never give them money or bank account numbers, no matter how credible or desperate they seem.
If you suspect someone tried to scam you or swindles you, contact the FBI and report the incident as soon as possible.
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