The FBI is warning the public to be on the lookout for those who threaten to use romance scams this Valentine’s season.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning people to be wary of sexual schemes that could trick them into losing money.
“Romantic fraud” is when a bad actor or criminal uses a fake online character to gain the affection and trust of the victim.
The scammer then uses perceived trust and romance to manipulate or steal from the victim, according to a statement of the FBI.
Scammers can convince victims to send them money, reveal bank details, or make online purchases for them.
“The scammer’s goal is to establish a relationship as quickly as possible, to like the victim and gain trust. The scammer may propose and plan to meet in person, but that will never be the case. happen. Eventually, they will demand money,” the FBI wrote in the statement.
The US agency notes that in 2020, reports filed with its Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) showed that victims of romance scams lost a total of $281 million.
While scams cross every demographic, elderly women seem to be the most frequent targets.
Warning signs of a romance scam
The FBI has shared many warning signs that could indicate someone is a sex offender.
For starters, someone immediately asking for money, goods, or financial assistance without meeting them in person is never a good sign.
The agency also recommends being wary of anyone who claims to be “fate” or “fate” and/or reports a sudden personal crisis.
Someone suddenly disappearing on a dating site and then reappearing with a different name is also a big red flag.
Tips to avoid romance scams
There are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of falling victim to a romance scam.
First and foremost, you should never send money to anyone with whom you only communicate online or by phone.
Second, be careful what information you post or make public because scammers can use it to target you.
Next, research a person’s photo and profile to see if the image, name, or details have been used elsewhere.
Finally, be extremely wary of an individual trying to isolate you from friends and family, or requesting inappropriate photos or financial information as this could later be used to blackmail you. .
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4606856/fbi-warning-valentines-day-text/ FBI warns of expensive texting for Valentine’s Day – warn all your friends TODAY