Eye on the FBI: Staying aware of romance scams

[anvplayer video=”5161613″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Valentine’s Day is a time of love and romance, and scammers know that too.

The FBI is warning people of online romance scams, where scammers take interest in people seeking love on dating websites and apps or social media, then financially exploit and devastate them. It’s done to the point where victims even have a hard time ever recovering from it.

In 2020, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received almost 24,000 complaints of romance scams. The IC3 also says the associated losses exceeded $605 million and far outweigh any other online scams.

To avoid being a victim, the FBI recommends you consider the following if you develop a romantic relationship online:

  • Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the material is used elsewhere
  • Beware if the individual attempts to isolate you from friends and family
  • Go slow and ask questions
  • Be suspicious if an individual you met on a dating website wants to use your bank account for receiving and forwarding money
  • Beware if the individual seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or social media site to go “offline”
  • If you are planning to meet someone in person you have met online, meet in a public place and let someone know where you will be and what time you should return home
  • Never send money to anyone you don’t know personally
  • If you suspect your online relationship is a scam, cease all contact immediately
  • If you are a victim who has already sent money, immediately report the incident to your financial institution, file a complaint with IC3, and contact law enforcement

Learn more information by clicking here. View Danielle and Gabe’s interview with FBI Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda in the video above.