The search for love has been a part of life for as long as people have existed. However, the ways in which people search for love has evolved throughout the years. While many of the same avenues are used to find love, such as bars, church and work, others are still new. The fastest growing way to find a partner is online. Websites such as eharmony, Match and Plenty of Fish are popular places to meet potential matches. Apps such as Tinder and Bumble are extremely popular as well. Finding love online is a great avenue, but it also comes with some added risk. If you plan on participating in online dating, you need to learn how to spot a romance scam. Learning the red flags to look for could be the difference in finding love or finding turmoil.
How To Spot A Romance Scam
The FTC reports that romance scammers stole $547 million last year from those looking for love. Not all of these scams happen on dating sites or apps. Social media is also a hotbed for romance scams. In order to protect yourself, here are a few guidelines that you should always follow.
- Never, ever send money to someone you’ve never actually met. In fact, you shouldn’t give money to most people you’ve actually met (but that’s a different topic). Never send gift cards or pre-paid debit cards. Also, never send cryptocurrency to an online love interest.
- Never let anyone rush you into a relationship. True love is worth waiting for, so take things slow. Scammers commonly want to fast track a relationship so that they can grift you out of money faster.
- If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If you’ve connected with someone who looks like the supermodel of your dreams, at least do a bit of research before getting in too deep. You can do a reverse image search on the pictures in their profile in order to see where that image has been used elsewhere on the internet. If you find that their pictures are all over the place, it’s probably a scam.
- Cut off all contact if you suspect you’re being scammed. If you’re speaking to a scammer through social media, a dating website or dating app, report them through that platform immediately.
Your heart and your information are valuable and worth protecting. We hope that these tips will help you learn how to spot a romance scam and from becoming the next victim.