Millions of Americans use dating websites in hopes of finding their special someone. Unfortunately, for thousands of Americans every year that special someone isn't real. Scammers use these dating websites to create online profiles and engage in fictitious relationships in an attempt to rob their victims. Indeed, reports of scammers using dating websites have tripled over the last five years.
Today, to help consumers recognize the signs of a romantic scam and tips on how to avoid them, the Federal Trade Commission released an infographic.
Signs of a scam include:
- Professes love quickly.
- Claims to be from the U.S., but is overseas for business or military service.
- Claims to need money for emergencies, hospital bills, or travel.
- Plans to visit, but can't because of an emergency.
- Asks for money, and lures you off of the dating website.
What to do:
- Slow down. Talk to someone you trust. Don't let a scammer rush you.
- Never wire money, put money on a gift or cash reload card, or send cash to an online love interest.
- Contact your bank right away if you think you sent money to a scammer.
- Report your experience to the particular dating website, the Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov/complaint), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (ic3.gov).
Love may be blind. But the FTC is trying to help make sure your dates don't rob you blind.
Reports of scammers using dating websites have tripled over the last five years. In 2016 alone, $220 million was lost to such scammers.