Wednesday, February 10, 2021
It's a sad fact of life: Many scammers prey on lonely people, so the FBI's Phoenix division has issued a bulletin warning about "romance scams" ahead of this Valentine's Day on Sunday, Feb. 14.
Also called "confidence fraud," these scams involve a criminal adopting a fake identity to gain someone's trust, then using their phony relationship to steal from the victim. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, 560 Arizonans reported collected losses of more than $12 million in connection with confidence fraud/romance scams in 2020.
These scam artists are present on almost every dating and social media site, and often begin interactions attempting to earn trust, but often never actually meet in person. According to the FBI, these scam artists often say they are in the building or construction industry and are engaged in projects outside the U.S. That makes it easier to avoid meeting in person—and more plausible when they ask for money for a medical emergency or unexpected legal fee.
The following tips may be helpful to consider if you develop a romantic relationship with someone you meet online:
For more information on romance scams, visit here.