Guarding Your Heart and Wallet: A Guide to Recognizing Romance Scams

What is a romance scam?Romance Scams

Romance scams involve individuals who create fake profiles on social media or dating websites to build romantic relationships with unsuspecting victims. These scammers often gain the friendship and trust of their targets before exploiting them emotionally and financially.

Here are some warning signs to watch for:

  • Too good to be true: Be overly cautious of a person who seems to be perfect, has a story that is unusually dramatic, has a job that seems unrealistic or claims to be famous, a celebrity or other prominent person.
  • Requests money: Scammers commonly ask for money, often claiming to have an emergency and needing the money as soon as possible. They often ask for funds through cash app or crypto currency because they are harder to trace or track down.
  • They don’t want to meet in person: If a person refuses to talk or meet in person or makes excuses this is a huge red flag.
  • They want to talk on a different platform: Often fraudsters will try to get you to communicate on a different app such as WhatsApp or Telegram, making it easier for them to hide their identity and avoid detection.
  • Inconsistency in their story: Be cautious when there are discrepancies in their details and their stories don’t make sense, or when there are sudden changes in their personal circumstances.
  • Pressure to share personal information: Scammers will pressure you to share personal and financial information. They may ask for your online banking credentials, your account and debit card number “so they can send you money”.

If you encounter any of the above signs or suspect you might have fallen for a romance scam, we recommend you immediately take the following precautions:

  • Do NOT send money: Never send money to someone you’ve only met online, especially if they claim it’s for an emergency, financial assistance, or repayment of a purported overpayment.
  • Report suspicious behavior: Report any suspicious activity to the platform you are using, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Hinge, eHarmony etc.
  • Contact your financial institution: Let your bank know if you have given out your online banking credentials, account number or debit card number so scammer access can be blocked.
  • Educate yourself: Stay alert and informed about common scam tactics to better protect yourself.

It is vital to be aware of the various types of scams and be extremely cautious when communicating with anyone you meet online.

If you have any questions or believe you may have fallen victim to a romance scammer, please reach out to our customer care team directly by calling 503-472-6171, or visit your nearby branch.

November 30, 2023

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