These scammers are just scammers, but the FBI warns that they are experts in manipulating their victims into thinking they are truly caring and loving.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Editor’s note: The video above is taken from a previous article on rental scams dated February 5, 2022.
Romance season has arrived with Valentine’s Day just a week away. However, while some people might be looking for love, there are also scammers looking to take advantage of people hoping to find that special someone, especially online.
According to the FBI, scammers often fake a persona online to gain the trust and affection of their victim. With this trust, the scammer will then create the illusion of a relationship with his victim to manipulate, extort or rob him.
These scammers are just scammers, but the FBI warns that they are experts in manipulating their victims into thinking they are truly caring and loving. The scammers hope to quickly establish a relationship with the victim and may even offer marriage and a face-to-face meeting, although this meeting never takes place.
The FBI says a red flag is when a potential partner says they work in the building and construction industry and are working on projects outside the United States. This not only gives the scammer an excuse to avoid an in-person meeting, but gives them a plausible explanation when the scammer is asking for money for a medical emergency or unexpected legal bills.
If a potential romantic partner asks for bank account information to deposit money, they’re likely using that information to commit theft or other fraudulent schemes, according to the FBI.
Here are some other FBI tips for people looking to meet a romantic partner online:
- Be careful what you post and make public online. Scammers can use information shared on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you.
- Find the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the image, name or details have been used elsewhere.
- Go slow and ask lots of questions.
- Be wary if the person seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or social media site to communicate directly.
- Beware if the person tries to isolate you from friends and family or asks for inappropriate photos or financial information that could then be used to extort you.
- Beware if the person promises to meet you in person, but always finds an excuse not to. If you haven’t met the person after a few months, for whatever reason, you have good reason to be suspicious.
- Never send money to someone you’ve only communicated with online or by phone.
For more information on romance scams, visit this site.