Romance Scam

Scammers lure victims into false or misleading relationships, often with the intention to steal money or commit other types of fraud.

What is a Romance Scam?

A romance scam occurs when scammers lure victims into false or misleading relationships, often with the intention to steal money or commit other types of fraud.

How Does a Romance Scam Work?

Romance fraud or online dating scams come in many forms, including investment offers. Typically, there are some common moves fraudsters will make to find targets.

  1. Setup Profile: Fraudsters usually create accounts on legitimate dating apps and websites. They’ll construct fake profiles and personas by using stock photos or stealing someone’s identity.
  2. Hook & Reel: A scammer can play the long game. Similar to the example above, they may initiate a conversation or sit back and wait for someone to match with their fake profile. Once the targets are established, the hook and reel begins.
  3. Build Trust: A romance scam target might receive a constant stream of affectionate emails and messages. The fraudster will do this to build interest, attachment, and trust.
  4. Request Finances: Then, at some point, the fraudster will bring up finances. It could be a broad range of scenarios – business struggles, investment opportunities, family emergencies, or even asking for money to purchase a plane ticket so they can come visit.

Watch out for one or more of these common characteristics of romance scammers:

  • They cannot meet you in person.
  • They avoid video chats.
  • They profess their love early on in relationships and flood you with affectionate messages.
  • They steer the conversation toward finances and ask for money.