Romance scams occur when a criminal adopts a fake online identity to gain a victim’s affection and trust. The scammer then uses the illusion of a romance or close relationship to manipulate and/or steal from the victim.
In 2021, some 24,000 victims across the United States reported losing $1 billion to romance scams. It’s likely that many more losses went unreported.
Keep these things in mind to protect yourself from romance scams:
-Be careful of what you post online, as scammers can use that information to target you.
-Research the person’s profile to see if their information has been used elsewhere online.
-If the person continuously makes excuses for why they cannot meet you in person, you have good reason to be suspicious.
-Do not give out personal information or send photos that could be used to extort you.
-Never send money or gift cards to someone you have only communicated with online.
If you think you may have fallen victim, please call Downeast Credit Union immediately at 800-427-1223.
To learn more about romance scams, visit: https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/what-know-about-romance-scams
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