Friday, July 19, 2024

Don’t Get Robbed by Romance

HomeMoneyDon’t Get Robbed by Romance

Love is in the air, or at least that is what romance scammers would have potential victims believe. They prey on people looking for relationships by tugging at their heartstrings and building trust. Then use that trust to con them out of hundreds, or thousands of dollars.

Losses related to romance scams hit $1.3 billion in 2022, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The median loss per victim was $4,400.

Reports of these scams have been steadily rising over the past several years and likely will continue to rise. Because older adults are twice as likely as younger adults to lose money to sweetheart swindles, it’s important to warn aging parents about the signs of these scams. There’s no guarantee you can prevent parents from becoming victims but helping them recognize the red flags can reduce the risk that they’ll be swept up by this con.

Warn your parents about the information they share online. According to the FTC, 40% of people who said they lost money to a romance scam last year said the contact started on social media. Scammers can use information posted on social media to make a connection with potential victims. The more personal information you or your parents post, the easier it might be for someone to target them. 

Keep lines of communication open with your parents. Show interest if they talk about someone new in their lives. You could ask how they met, whether they have met in-person, where the person lives or what line of work that person is in. Pay attention to the red flags.

Protect yourself and your parents from fraudulent actions by scammers. If you or someone you love suspects a rifle for love, contact the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov or your local authorities.  

Photo Credit: Polina Zimmerman

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