A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to get the victim to send money to the scammer under false pretenses or to commit fraud against the victim. Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim's money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers ; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf. These scams are often perpetrated by organized criminal gangs, who work together to take money from multiple victims at a time. More money is lost each year to romance scams than to similar internet scams, such as technical support scams. Older people are often targeted, because they are more likely to have assets, such as retirement funds or homes, that can be stolen. Sensitive people are more vulnerable to online dating scams, based on a study conducted by the British Psychological Society.
How To Spot Online Dating Scams in 2020: Top 10 Ways, Things to Know
Consumer tip: Be careful of romance scams on dating websites – Marin Independent Journal
Earlier this year, 10 people located around the United States were arrested and charged in an organized money laundering scheme as they were attempting to wash the cash that they illegally obtained. What was strange about the scheme is how the money was obtained in the first place. It wasn't through the trading or trafficking of illegal goods or drugs, but rather cash that was sent by unsuspecting women who thought they were building relationships with the scammers. This type of thing happens more often than you might think. These types of schemes are known as romance scams, and while there is no shortage of scams online, few are more devastating.
Faking it — scammers’ tricks to steal your heart and money
Sure, you can find love online. You could also find yourself falling for a clever con artist who will gain your trust and rob you blind. It happens all too often. For the past two years, more money has been lost to romance scams than any other type of scam reported to the FTC. Romance scammers post their fake profiles on popular dating websites and apps.
People are increasingly switching to more convenient means to find a connection, like dating apps and websites such as Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge or Bumble. That, unfortunately, may make them targets for dating scammers , who prey on their eagerness to find love. Scammers tend to use stock images of models, who may be styled to sell a specific product. Photos of them posing with beverages and electronics may feel staged and unnatural because indeed they are. Alternatively, they have been known to steal pictures of real people, to make themselves seem more believable.