Someone contacts you on social media — and they’re interested in getting to know you. Or maybe you meet someone special on a dating website or mobile app. Soon the person wants to write to you directly or start talking on the phone. They say it’s true love, but they live far away — maybe because of work, or because they’re in the military.
Then they start asking for money. Maybe it’s for a plane ticket to visit you. Or emergency surgery. Or something else urgent.
Scammers of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations make fake profiles, sometimes using photos of other people — even stolen pictures of real military personnel. They build relationships — some even pretend to plan weddings — before they disappear with your money.
1.) Stop. Don’t send money. Never send anyone cash or pay with gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency to an online love interest – no matter the reason. You won’t get it back.
2.) Pass this information on to a friend. You may not have gotten tangled up with a romance scam, but chances are, you know someone who will — if they haven’t already.
If you spot a scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
Go online: ReportFraud.ftc.gov
Call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY 1-866-653-4261
Your report can help protect other people. By reporting fraud, you can help the FTC’s investigators identify the scammers and stop them before they can get someone’s hard-earned money. It really makes a difference.
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