Romance scams occur when a criminal adopts a fake online identity to gain a victim’s affection and trust. The scammer then uses the illusion of a romantic or close relationship to manipulate and/or steal from the victim. The criminals who carry out romance scams are experts at what they do and will seem genuine, caring, and believable. Con artists are present on most dating and social media sites. The scammer intends to establish a relationship as quickly as possible, endear themself to the victim, and gain trust. Scammers may propose marriage and make plans to meet in person, but that will never happen. Eventually, they will ask for money.
The scammer wants to hook you into believing they care for you. Instead, they are grooming you intending to ask you for money. They want you to believe the two of you have a future together. They prey on people who are lonely, who have recently lost a loved one, or who are isolated, without family or friends.
Scam artists often say they are in the building and construction industry and are engaged in projects outside the U.S. That makes it easier to avoid meeting in person—and more plausible when they ask for money for a medical emergency or unexpected legal fee. If someone you meet online needs your bank account information to deposit money, they are most likely using your account to carry out other theft and fraud schemes.
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Lonely and / or socially isolated people are more likely to be targeted by scammers on dating sites.
If a person asks me for money soon after connecting online, I should:
Dating sites aren’t safe and should be avoided at all costs.
If I agree to meet someone I met online, I should:
The term _____________ refers to people that use fake profile pictures online to fool you into thinking they are someone else.