Love is in the air! Or, so it seems. Have you found yourself playing with words with friends and developing a new romance or friendship with a stranger? Or were you scrolling through Facebook and noticed a friend request from a charming newcomer? How do you know if this person is real? When you’re looking for love, it can be hard to tell when someone is being genuine and when they’re trying to scam you. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the signs of a romance scam and how to protect yourself from being scammed. Stay safe out there!
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So, what is a Romance Scam?
A romance scam aims to gain the trust and affection of a victim by adopting a false online identity. After using the illusion of romance or closeness, the scammer manipulates the victim and/or steals their money. Manipulation is any attempt to sway someone’s emotions to get them to act or feel a certain way. This is the scammer’s main technique.
Signs you are in a Romance Scam
Romance Scammers tend to follow the same kind of footwork. The scammer will seem thoughtful and caring. They pay close attention to details, like remembering birthdays and checking in to make sure you ate. Fraudsters may propose marriage and make plans to meet in person, but that will not happen. The goal is to manipulate their victims. Often, they stick to the same storylines but change some key details. In their approach, they give you just enough to satisfy your needs but not enough to meet in person, and they constantly keep you waiting with excuses.
Read also about the most dangerous dating scams in 2022.
Some narratives to watch out for:
- Being stuck on an oil rig and that’s why they can’t meet or message at certain times.
- Trapped in Jail in another country and needs x amount of dollars to get out.
- Need money for the flight to come see you but ultimately something always comes up.
- Is in some branch of the military and doesn’t have any leave.
- They are building a construction company and need money to buy a piece of equipment.
Tips to avoid these types of Scams:
- Keep your information private online. Information shared on social media and dating sites can be used by scammers to target you.
- Reverse image search their photos if multiple accounts show up they are most likely a scammer.
- Be aware of any individual moving too quickly or attempts to isolate you from friends and family or requesting inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used to extort you.
- Take note if the individual has promised to meet personally and then always gives excuses because he or she can’t. After a few months, if you haven’t met the person, you should be suspicious. Never send money to anyone you have only communicated with online or by phone.
Romance scams are a serious problem, and they’re only getting worse. Victims can lose tens of thousands of dollars and their emotional well-being can be shattered. But there are ways to protect yourself. Educate yourself about the warning signs, use common sense, and trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is. And if you think you may have been scammed, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. The sooner you report the scam, the better chance law enforcement has of catching the perpetrator and stopping them from victimizing others. Digital Investigations offers many services to identify these perpetrators. Reach out and stop blackmail today!