AARP warns that romance scams are on the rise
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - AARP estimates more than 900 Alabamians were victims of romance scams in 2022, with total financial losses of almost $9 million dollars. And because these crimes are underreported, the totals are probably much higher. Romance scams escalated dramatically during the pandemic, as more adults were isolated at home.
Red flags for romance scams
It’s common for people to look for love on dating apps, and there are many of them available. Scammers are setting up shop there also. Here is what to watch out for:
· Your new romantic interest sends you a photo that looks more like a model from a fashion magazine than an ordinary snapshot.
· The person quickly wants to leave the dating web site and communicate through email or instant messaging.
· They repeatedly promise to meet in person but always come up with an excuse to cancel.
· They make a sudden request for money to deal with some “emergency” or push you to make a “sure-fire investment” they recommend.
· Take it slowly. Ask your potential partner lots of questions and look for inconsistencies.
· Be wary of flirtatious and overly complimentary emails early on, such as claiming you are “soulmates” or “meant for each other.”
· Cut off contact immediately and report the person to the dating site if you suspect they are a scammer.
· Don’t send cash, cryptocurrency or gift cards to someone you’ve only interacted with online. You will never get it back.
For more information to protect yourself and your family from fraud, visit AARP Fraud Watch Network at aarp.org/fraudwatch. It’s a free service for people of all ages from AARP.
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