Online dating scams are on the RiseAccording to the FBI, Americans lost $1 billion in 2021 due to online dating scams; 2022 numbers are expected to be higher.
Romance scammers are masters of disguise. They lead people on with talk of love and then attempt to trick them into giving money or personal data. As demonstrated by The Tinder Swindler, anyone at any age can be manipulated into a romance scam.
Dating sites and apps are a convenient and easy way to find a match. They also present an ideal opportunity to fool unsuspecting hearts with common scams like:
- pretending to be in a financial crisis
- living out of state (and needing money to travel to meet you)
- always having an excuse as to why they can’t meet in person
Of course, not all tactics are as obvious as the above. Be suspicious of someone who asks you to move your communication off the dating site/app to a different platform; this could be a sign that the person is trying to avoid detection, being flagged or that they want to share a malicious link for you to click on.
To protect your heart, data and identity while online dating:
- Never give money or private data like birth dates and bank account numbers.
- Trust your instincts; if it feels too fast or good to be true, it probably is. Scammers often claim to have fallen in love very quickly or without having met their “match” in person.
- Don’t send intimate pictures or videos. Scammers may use them to extort money from you.
- Don’t share your address, daily routine or places you visit frequently
- Use a dating site/app that offers security features, such as the ability to verify the identity of others.
- Do your research, consider using a background check service to verify a person’s identity. And don’t forget about your own identity. Enroll in an identity and data protection service to further protect yourself.
Webroot antivirus with Allstate Identity Protection provides the much-needed extra layers to protect your data and identity from scammers looking for more than your heart. To learn more visit webroot.com