Keeping investment scams out of your online social and dating life


Keeping investment scams out of your online social and dating life


With Valentine’s day just around the corner, we wanted to bring awareness to the rise of romance scams in the past years. Did you know Albertans lost $4.5 million to romance-related scams last year?

For many in today’s increasingly connected online world, using apps and social platforms to connect with others has become convenient and common. As of 2021, eHarmony, a popular online dating platform, reported that 36% of Canadians use online dating platforms. Unfortunately, with the popularity of dating apps and social media, fraudsters are increasingly using them to scam Canadians.

According to data from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, romance and investment scams were among the country’s top forms of fraud. In 2021 alone, Albertans lost $4.5 million dollars to romance-related scams.


Steps you can take to safeguard your personal information and spot and stop the scam


1) What are online investment and romance scams?

One of the go-to tactics of fraudsters is to tailor their scams to potential victims. Social media platforms can offer a wealth of valuable information – public profiles or posts can share insights into your location, interests, friends, and family members, all of which can help the fraudster craft a convincing and tangible story around their scam.

Fraudsters can even impersonate someone the victim trusts, such as a friend or family member, to offer investment opportunities. In a 2020 Investor Index conducted by the Canadian Securities Administrators, 1 in 4 Canadians stated that they were more likely to trust an investment opportunity if it was recommended by someone they knew.

In addition to social media, scammers patrol online groups and dating sites, seeking to establish trusting friendships or romantic relationships with potential victims to manipulate them into investing in a scam. They may pressure individuals to invest, guarantee high returns with little risk, and even convince the victim to continue investing over time, leading to substantial losses.


2) Protecting your social media profiles from investment fraud and romance scams

There are steps you can take today to protect yourself from investment and romance scams on social media and dating apps.

  1. Limit the amount of publicly available information about yourself online. This can be done by adjusting your privacy settings on these platforms.
  2. Be highly skeptical of unsolicited investment offers, especially from those you have just met.
  3. If an offer comes from a friend, family member or someone you trust, consider checking the offer’s legitimacy by contacting the individual by phone or in-person.
  4. Watch for the most common red flags of fraud, including pressure to invest, guarantees of high returns, and investment offers in cryptocurrencies.
  5. Do not take up investment offers from someone not registered with the Alberta Securities Commission. You can verify registration at

While social media and dating apps have made it easier for individuals to connect, they also provide opportunities for scammers to target unsuspecting victims. By being aware of the tactics used by scammers and taking steps to keep your personal information private, you can better protect yourself from falling victim to online investment and romance scams.

Report The Scam

Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should:

  • report it to their local police and
  • report it to the CAFC’s online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. 


PLEASE NOTE: This article was originally published on the Alberta Securities Commission’s (ASC) investor education website The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province’s securities laws. It is entrusted with fostering a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and protecting investors. As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada’s capital markets.



Recent Posts

Suggested Lessons

Identity Fraud

Identity fraud is when a victim’s personal information is stolen. Now it’s your turn! SPOT THE SCAM You are not receiving all of your regular

Learn More »

Sign up for our Newsletter

Subscribe to our email newsletter to stay up to date on the latest news and information for Senior Fraud Alert.

Sign up for Senior fraud alert emails

Senior Fraud Alert will never share your information with third-parties and you can unsubscribe at any time.