Looking for Love in All The Wrong Places?
Do you have a new love in your life? When you’re in love or in a romantic relationship, you can easily get caught up in the feelings that come with it. Feeling a strong attraction to someone motivates you to do sweet things for them, to give and relish the joys of making them happy. The problem is that many are taking advantage of these acts of love through romance scams.
What Are Romance Scams?
As the name suggests, romance scams are operated by con artists who pretend to be in love with someone with the intention of obtaining their goodwill through the mechanism of feigning romantic intentions.
A common way in which scammers connect with their targets is by using online dating apps or social networking sites to create fake profiles and connect with their targets. In order to endear themselves to the victim, the scammer uses the illusion of a romantic or close relationship to lure them into a trap before committing the crime. As soon as manufactured stories and promises are presented, they will soon be followed by requests for money and personal information.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center received more than 24,000 reports of romance scams in 2021 with over $1 billion being lost as a result. The statistics also show that anyone can become a victim of romance scams regardless of their age or gender, no matter where they live. As a result of the level of scams continually rising each year, it is essential that we all take the necessary steps to spot a scammer and prevent becoming victims of future scams.
How To Spot A Scammer
Due to the widespread use of dating apps and sites it can challenging to spot fake profiles and those people posing as somebody they are not. There are many warning signs to keep an eye out for when dealing with others online. In order to help you detect a romance scam, here are four tell-tale signs you should look for.
1. They can never meet in person
When dating someone, it is expected that you meet them in person. However, most scammers will completely avoid meeting you. Whether it is the distance they claim to be due to personal or professional reasons or some other unexpected issue, they are never able to meet in person.
2. They avoid video chat or other virtual chat options.
As with not being able to meet in person, they are not available to hold a video chat or allow you to meet virtually either. In such cases, they can give excuses as to why they cannot be available for virtual meet-ups, such as the fact that their camera broke or they had a poor or extremely slow connection to the internet.
3. They profess their love early in the connection.
As romance scams tend to move at a fast pace, it is important for the conman to ensure that during the budding romance the victim feels as special as possible so that they can maintain the pace. When trying to manipulate a victim emotionally, the con-artist usually feels it’s necessary to use the profession of love in order to build a deep connection that makes the victim willing to go to any lengths to fulfill the scammer’s requirements.
4. They will ask for money, with the promise to pay.
Inevitably, a scammer will ask for money from the victim, and that’s what their ultimate goal is; to defraud the victim. Scammers use a variety of methods to trick people into giving them money or assisting them with “supposed” health problems, travel troubles, personal emergencies, or financial assistance, and they may even promise to repay their victim later on. However, this trick tends to leave the victim hundreds of dollars short and, potentially, unable to reach the scammer after the monetary transaction has happened.
3 Tips To Avoiding Being Scammed
1. Pay attention to the red flags.
If it feels suspicious, it may be a scam. Avoid falling for common romance scams by looking for red flags that are consistently present. If they are genuinely interested in you, they will understand your cautiousness and need to ensure they are a legitimate person.
2. Verify their identity.
A romance scammer often uses another person’s photo as their profile picture, assuming their identity. Yet, there are various ways to verify their identity. You can perform a reverse image search on your phone or computer to find out whether the photo is real or fake. You can also set up a video chat or make plans to meet them face-to-face in a public, safe venue.
3. Never send money or gifts to someone you haven’t met in person.
One of the most important tips is never to send money or gifts to someone you haven’t met. Even if you’ve met in person, you shouldn’t exchange money until you’ve established a trusting relationship. You should immediately report any online dating partner who asks you to purchase gift cards for them, wire them money, or return money to them from a check they’ve sent you.
What To Do If You Have Been Scammed
If you have given money to a scammer with a gift card, wire transfer, credit or debit card, or cryptocurrency, contact the company or your bank right away. Tell them the situation and see if they have any way to assist you in getting your money back.
Notify the social networking site or dating application of the scammer. If possible share any screenshots or messages the scammer sent to you to ensure they can block the scammer from doing it to someone else.
Report the scam to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov. You can make the complaint of a scam whether or not you have lost money or believe that your identity has been stolen.
We Want You To Be Aware of Romance Scams
Romance Scams can be scary to experience. Yet, so can facing time in jail. Our Orlando, Florida bail bonds agents want to help defendants bond from jail. In addition to serving the entire Central Florida area, Central Florida Bonding also serves the cities of Sanford, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Oviedo, Longwood, Winter Park, Winter Garden, Maitland, Casselberry and several other cities in the area.
This Central Florida bail bonds agency is located at 2911 29th Street, Suite 300 in Orlando, Florida 32839 and is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, to help bond out inmates from jail. There is a wide range of crimes they offer bond for, including domestic violence, drugs, alcohol, drug paraphernalia, assault, battery, theft, among others. If you need more information or would like our assistance to bond a defendant from jail, call 407-841-3646 or read our FAQ page for common questions and answers about the bail bond process.