FBI warns of online ‘romance scams’

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The FBI is warning the public of online romance scams in which scammers take advantage of people seeking relationships on websites, apps and social media by gaining access to their financial or personal identifying information, according to a press release.

The FBI says scams like this are prevalent, especially this time of year. According to information from the FBI, romance scams, also known as confidence fraud, result in the highest amount of financial loss to victims when compared to other online scams. Over $230 million was lost as a result of romance scams in 2016.

If considering an online romantic relationship, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the material has been used elsewhere.
  • Go slow and ask questions.
  • Beware if the individual seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or social media site to go “offline.”
  • Beware if the individual attempts to isolate you from friends and family or requests.
  • Beware if the individual promises to meet in person but then always comes up with an excuse why he or she can’t. If you haven’t met the person after a few months, for whatever reason, you have good reason to be suspicious.
  • Never send money to anyone you don’t know personally.

If you believe you have been victimized by an online romance scam, click here to a file a complaint.

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