Romance Scams: How to Protect Yourself

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February, the month of love. The month seems to create strong viewpoints about how to celebrate your loved ones. Some celebrate, others strongly dislike it and others think it’s a total marketing ploy and a created holiday. February also marks the onset of romance scam season, as scams flourish during this time. Furthermore with social media, online dating and others sites there are more ways to communicate with individuals. In particular it leads to scammers that are more active in finding individuals they can take advantage of. In this blog, I’ll provide warning signs and tips to protect yourself or a family member from romance scams.

Too smooth and too perfect a person?

Is the new person you are talking to have eerily all the same interests as you? Do they overly push money talks, promising to enhance your wealth? Maybe how to grow your assets or increase your income?

Remember, go at your own pace, as it takes time to really learn about a person. Exercise caution: If someone appears to be too perfect, they likely aren’t.

Focus on your future

The person talks about creating a life together. Their interest in you escalates rapidly and urgently. Before you decide about your future with them, do some research into them as well.

If a person does not want to meet in person, that is another red flag, it could be a scam. A person that plans to scam you, will always give an excuse why they can’t meet you in person. Here is a good resource with common reasons scammers give, Romance scammers’ favorite lies exposed | Federal Trade Commission (

Asks for Financial Help

If you do continue to talk with the individual, do they ask you for money?  If someone asks you for money online or over the phone and/or they never want to meet in person, it’s definitely a scam. Stop all communications with the individual and report them to the site you first connected on.

In conclusion, be cautious when meeting someone online. Therefore, check their information too and as with any new person, see what your friends and family think about them. Here is another good resource of how to protect yourself provided by AARP on Romance Scams. 

To organize your finances, repay scam-related debt, and discuss reporting fraud on your credit report, consider our Financial Health Plan.

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