Avoid Romance Scammers With These Tips
Leading up to Valentine’s Day, many officials are warning people about romance scams. Unfortunately, this is something that targets people of all backgrounds and ages. With access to technology, many people are forming friendships and potential love interests through social media, mobile game apps, and online dating websites. While these platforms have worked for some, not everyone online has the best intentions. Ahead of February 14, AARP suggested some tips on how to identify and avoid potential romance scams.
“On the one hand, online dating sites, social media, and mobile game apps have made connecting easier than ever,” said David Kalinoski, Associate Director of Outreach for AARP Pennsylvania, “but the internet is full of scammers eager to take advantage of lonely hearts, and their ranks are growing.”
Watch out for scams, says AARP. Be cautious if you receive unexpected invitations while gaming, scrolling through social media, or using dating apps. If you accept and start communicating with a new friend who suggests moving to another platform, be wary. A quick romantic relationship might form with reasons for not meeting in person, such as working abroad or military service. Soon, requests for money or cryptocurrency investments may come up. The fake relationship ends when the scammer disappears, or you realize it was a scam.
When it comes to red flags, the request for money is definitely a big one, but typically other indicators appear along the way. They can include relationships that develop quickly, requests to move off the platform where you first connected, and never getting to meet in person.
Helpful Tips to Avoid Romance Scams
Here are some essential tips to steer clear of romance scams. When connecting with new people online, exercise caution to avoid falling prey to deceptive people who may pretend to be someone they’re not. Take a moment to use your browser’s image search feature if you have a photo of your romantic interest to identify any potential red flags.
If you find yourself being asked for money by someone you’ve only encountered online, be alert, as this is a common tactic in scams. In such cases, AARP advises to cut off contact immediately and report the incident to the platform where the initial interaction took place. Staying vigilant and following these precautions can help safeguard against the risks associated with online romance scams.
For more information on how to avoid potential romance scams, take a look at more tips here.