Dating apps have become a go-to way to meet someone that has the same interests as you. The problem is, not everyone has your best interests at heart. Scammers have found ways to pull at your heart strings and trick you into sending them money.
Romance scammers will lure you into a "relationship" with them via dating sites/apps, and social media with a fake profile. Posing as a would-be love interest, these scammers will maintain conversations, and say anything to gain your trust. Often times, they will claim to live out of the country because of work or military purposes. Once they feel they have built enough trust, they will begin creating scenarios on why they need money, and will ask you for "help".
Some scenarios that could be used are:
Money to come visit
An emergency medical expense
To pay off a gambling debt
Funds for a visa, or other official travel document
The most common forms of payment are through money wiring, reload cards, and gift cards. These forms of payment allow them to receive the funds quickly while remaining anonymous. These transactions are also almost impossible to reverse.
If you believe you could be a victim of a Romance Scam, stop all contact immediately. Do some research on the person, and a reverse image search of their profile picture. If you conclude that you have fallen pray to a scammer, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation at ic3.gov. Reach out to any company you may have used to send payment, and ask if your money can be refunded. Also, contact the website, or app, where you met the scammer and report their fraudulent activity.
At Public Service Credit Union we are dedicated to keeping you up to date on the latest scams, and threats to you financial security. For more information on scams, identity theft, and more visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/.