Con-artists fabricate a romantic relationship or deep friendship of confidence with a target.
- Trust is formed and a connection is made.
- At some point in the relationship, financial help is needed. Caring partners offer funds.
- Relationships can last months or years and entire savings have been lost.
- Common forms of payment include wire transfers, gift cards, cash and access to accounts.
- Funds sent likely cannot be retrieved.
- Identity theft has a lasting impact.
Avoiding the Romance Scam
Steps to Verify
- Use reverse image searches to look up images of the person; if there are many results, the contact may be using someone else's image and is a scam.
- Video chat on your terms and at random times. If they are typically unavailable, they may be scamming someone else.
- Use the SLOW method; consult with your close contacts and reach out to an organization in your life who cares. They may spot something you don't.
- Never send money to someone you have not met in person.