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There are many negative consequences coming from this last year’s isolation, but did you know an increase in romance scams is one of them? According to the FTC, romance scam losses are up almost 50% from 2019! That’s a lot of money.
Romance scams can start out in many forms like fake dating profiles, fake social media profiles, or even random emails. However, they all end the same: asking for money. Here are a few things the FTC suggests you keep in mind when it comes to romance scams:
1. if a friend or loved on mentions an online love interest, ask if they’ve met in person.
2. If they haven’t met in person, and that love interest is asking for money, it’s a scam. Period. Even if that love interest sent money or gifts before asking for money, it’s still a scam.
3. If a loved interest is asking for money to be sent as gift cards, money transfer, or cryptocurrency, it’s most likely a scam and the sender will not get that money back.
4. Report romance scams to the dating or social networking site and to the FTC (reportfraud.ftc.gov). If money has been paid to the scammer, report that to the platform used to send it.
Love is hard. Love in the time of COVID is especially hard! Good luck out there and stay safe.