Romance scams are a new menacing scheme that leaves people penniless, and even heartbroken in some cases. Financial scams are evolving by the day, with new ways to secure your money, there are cunning fraudsters ready to hack into your accounts, and now your heart. Emotional manipulation is the key feature of romance scams. Professional scammers are experienced in targeting vulnerable victims, exploiting their information and taking whatever they can from victims. If you are present on social media and dating apps, you have likely been targeted by a romance scammer at some point in your life. In this blog post, we will share what a romance scam would entail, and the telltale signs to look out for to keep you safe on the dating scene. Take a look at the following suggestions:
What is a romance scam?
A romance scam starts with a fraudster making a fake persona online, and reaching out to singles in hopes of catching romantic interest from their victims. Using emotional manipulation and simple deception, they can get personal information about the people they are speaking to, whether it be financial details or personal details that can be exploited for a bribe. They will at some point initiate an exchange of information or money. Often, once they have captured the attention of their victim who falls for the fake profile, they then ask for a favour or exchange of information. Some even convince their victims to invest into forex scams, lying about a false investment opportunity. By simply sending money to the fraudster’s account, the victim puts themselves in a vulnerable position and ultimately does not see their finances ever again. There are telltale signs to look out for when it comes to catching a romance scammer, so here are some methods to apply in your online chats:
Check their images are not being used elsewhere
First of all, a romance scammer’s imagery is always the first reg flag you will come across. Today, scammers are taking images from unsuspecting profiles and setting up fake pages. They will use strangers ‘ images, and create fake profiles based on these photos. In this case, it can be hard to know whether a page is legitimate or not. The best course of action to take would be to do a Google reverse images search to make sure that the photos are not being used on anyone else’s profile. You will be surprised by what you find, but hopefully, you find nothing and the person is legitimate.
Arrange a Facetime call
Romance scammers always do their best to avoid phone or face-to-face calls. Of course, as they are not their real profile, they will do whatever it takes to avoid this interaction. If someone you are having an online conversation with does not allow for any calls to be made, take this as a red flag that they are not their real profile.
Do not share any personal information
The exploitation of personal information is where romance scammers have the upper hand. They will be convincing you may even be romantically interested, however, you should never share personal information online. To password hints to private images, ensure you know exactly who you are talking to before this happens. Romance scammers can hack your accounts with something as simple as knowing your pet’s name. Let’s face it. Many of us have obvious passwords, it only takes one fraudster to connect the dots and leave you penniless or being blackmailed.
Overall, romance scammers will always be around as long as victims are looking for companionship. Knowing how to spot a romance scam will protect the most vulnerable of people amongst us, so be sure to share these details in the hope you protect a loved one from being involved in any form of financial scam. There are investment fraud lawyers should a situation go too far, but avoiding this in the first place is the best way forward.