02/10/2023: Online Romance Scams

Romance Scams

Tips to stay CyberSafe

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you or your friends might be thinking about love. But not everyone is — some are just looking to get into your pockets.

Read on so you can spot and report scammers before they trick someone you care about out of money.

Romance scammers might contact you on social media or dating apps, saying they want to get to know you. It’s true love, they say, but they live too far away to meet. Maybe because of work or because they’re in the military – this is very common.

Then they ask for money: it could be for a plane ticket, surgery, or something else urgent — or even to “help” you invest in cryptocurrency. In fact, see below (page 2) for the low-down on the lies that romance scammers use to bait their trap — and to see how much money they raked in last year.

So, how do you spot a romance scam?

If an online love interest asks you for money, that’s a scam. Period. Don’t send a reload, prepaid, or gift card; don’t wire money; and don’t send cryptocurrency to someone you met online.

If someone appears on your social media and rushes you to start a friendship or romance, slow down. Talk to someone you trust before you respond.

If you suspect someone is a scammer, cut off contact. Tell the online app or social media platform right away, and then tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

Most importantly, talk about what you know with your friends and family. Romance scams can be particularly complicated because once they start, it can feel embarrassing to talk about them. But let your friends and family know that you’re there to listen. You could help save them money — and heartache.

It’s YOUR money – let’s protect it together!

SCAM REPORT – R BANK ISSUE 2023.01 MARK KESSELRING, SVP

ROMANCE SCAMMERS FAVORITE LIES

Scammers Lie By the Numbers*

I, or someone close to me is sick, hurt or in jail 24%

I can teach you how to invest 18%

I’m in the military and deployed far away 18%

I need help with an important delivery 18%

We’ve never met, but let’s talk about marriage 12%

I’m come in to money, gold, silver, cryptocurrency, etc 7%

I’m on an oil rig, ship, working far away 6%

You can trust me with your private pictures 3%

In 2022, almost 70,000 Americans reported a romance scam, with losses hitting over

$1 BILLION.

40% of victims reported the contact started on social media and 19% said it started on a dating website or app. Many victims reported that the scammer then quickly moved to contact via WhatsApp, Google Chat or Telegram

*Figures are based on over 8 million romance scam reports that indicated a dollar loss and included a narrative of at least 2,000 characters. Lies were identified using keyword analysis.

It’s YOUR money – let’s protect it together!

Mark Kesselring | SVP – Information Security Officer

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