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A podcast by BBB of the Tri-Counties
Romance scams are more common than ever. Even if you don’t use dating apps, you might still be targeted by one. BBB Scam Tracker is getting reports from dating scam victims who were conned through social media. Get to know the signs, so you can spot a fake romance before getting in too deep.
How to Avoid Dating Scams:
● Know the signs of romance scams. Romance scams often start with someone who seems too perfect and immediately falls in love with you. They may be in a hurry to create a future together but hesitant to meet you in person. They’ll probably tell you they are overseas or in the military. They often talk about the importance of trust to gain yours, and they may share sad stories to pull on your heartstrings before asking you for money. Any one of these tactics is a big red flag. If you notice similarities with someone who has messaged you on social media, think twice about your relationship.
● Never send money or personal information to someone you haven’t met. Refrain from giving a stranger your credit card or bank account information. Don’t wire money to or share the PIN of a gift card with someone you’ve never met. An online “friend” might not even really exist!
● Ask lots of questions. When you meet someone online, ask them specific questions about the details in their profile and pay close attention to their answers. If they lie, they likely won’t be able to keep their story straight.
● Do some research. Do a reverse image lookup of a person’s profile picture to see if it is being used elsewhere on the internet. Scammers often use the same stolen photos to create fake profiles. You can also search their name, email, and phone number to see if you find anything fishy.
For more information: Read BBB’s tip on romance scams for more helpful advice. Get information on specific dating scams on the BBB Romance Scam page.
Also, be on the lookout for a similar scam involving wrong number text messages. If you spot a scam on social media, romance-related or otherwise, report it! By sharing your experience at BBB.org/ScamTracker, you can help us expose scammers’ tactics.
A BIG thank you to Ayers Automotive Repair in Santa Barbara for sponsoring this podcast. https://www.ayersrepairs.com