This Valentine's Day, don't let your heart lead your wallet somewhere too good to be true. Scammers can be romantic, too!
In 2021, Americans lost $547 million to romance scams.
Stay vigilant to the following signs your valentine may be trying to win more than your heart:
- Professes their love quickly
- Asks for a lot of personal information too soon
- Claims to be overseas or in the military
- Asks for money
- Tries to lure you to a different communication platform (such as moving the conversation from dating applications to messengers like WhatsApp)
- Needs money quickly for emergencies, hospital bills, or travel
What to do if you think you could be a victim of a romance scam:
- Slow down
Don't rush into dating someone new, whether in person or online. Talk to someone you trust if you aren't sure of their intentions.
- Don't share personal information
Don't share personal information you're not comfortable sharing yet, especially when it involves your finances. Keep your credit/debit card numbers to yourself.
- Never transfer money
Don't transfer any money from your bank account to buy gift cards or wire transfers and never share your account numbers.
- Contact your bank right away
If you think you've sent money to a scammer, contact your bank right away. If you've given any of your credit/debit card numbers, turn those cards off while your bank investigates.
- Report your experience
- Any online dating sites/apps you've used
- Federal Trade Commission: ReportFraud.ftc.gov
Check out our Simple Tips to Prevent Identity Theft for more ways to protect yourself.