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When you have a new romance there’s so much to talk about. But if your new sweetheart only wants to talk about your money and how you should invest it, stop talking. They might be a romance scammer, like those who stole more than $1 billion from people last year. How do the scams start, and what can you do to avoid one?

Romance scammers use lots of tricks to meet people. They might find you on a dating site, send you a surprise friend request on social media, or start a chat with you on a gaming site. If you answer, they’ll flood you with attention and want to talk every day. But soon, their focus is on money — meaning your money. The love interest — who’s really a scammer — claims they desperately need you to send them money for an emergency, but the reason they give you is a lie. Or they pressure you to invest in cryptocurrency with their help, but they’re really steering you into an investment scam If you send or invest money, it’s probably gone forever.

Take steps to avoid a romance scammer:

  • Be cautious when you get a surprise direct message or friend request on social media. Try to limit who can see your posts and information by setting some restrictions on your privacy settings.

  • Don’t send money to an online love interest or anyone who demands payment with cryptocurrencygift cardswire transfers, or a payment app. Only scammers tell you to pay those ways.

  • Learn the signs of an investment scam, like when someone claims they have a secret method to make money. Visit Investor.gov for more advice on investing and avoiding fraud.

If you think someone is a scammer, cut off contact. Tell the online app or social media platform right away, and then tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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If your new love asks for money urgently, or to invest, say no.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Samuel Williams
February 14, 2024

I receive these emails every day and they go straight to my Junk File” where .i delete them without opening. Why doesn’t Gmail filter these out?

Ozzie
February 14, 2024

In reply to by Samuel Williams

I have a similar problem from spammers and I put them into a spam folder in my Hotmail account. But, it does not work.

Charmaine Gage
February 14, 2024

This information is so helpful! I forwarded to my younger sister! I was a victim, of a Guy I was dating. Himself, girlfriend, and his entire family worked against me to take my life savings from my Credit Union. They used all types of scams with home lap too and my iPhone. I found names of his family in my contacts list. I did not add them to my list. They used my phone information to copy to their phone to pick up my passwords and bank account information. They paired up my phone to their s per Airdrop! Horrible Experience, In addition, my internet provider Cox, used outside contractors to service problems, they arrived in their own vehicles! Strange setup!

Kim Burnette
February 14, 2024

Your bank may attempt to recoup your money, but scammers normally work quickly and clear out their accounts as soon as a bank transfer, such as a wire or ACH transfer, hits their accounts. If that has happened, there is almost no chance of recovering your money.

Carole Free-Healy
February 14, 2024

When my husband died, I began to have dozens of followers on Instagram… Always older men with only a few posts, always they were shown with yachts, airplanes, etc. so they must get some of their prospects from death records… I would never be interested in dating sites, etc. and I’m not looking for love… So it was , Petes death that triggered all of this interest in me… disgusting.

Garland M Lundry
February 14, 2024

Just received email asking if I attempted $162 transaction from or with a same name as my financial institution. I did not stupidly follow it's instruction to.....

Jeanne
February 14, 2024

Is the assertion regarding payouts to "eligible seniors" from the federal government a scam as well?

Dianne Thurman
February 15, 2024

It Happened it Me I gave my Bank Notice And They allowed it anyway

Debbie Weeaks
February 20, 2024

I just ask u small question....I should send to military for a ticket to flight to USA from Ukraine.....I need to know ...Make sure...Government take cares of the troops to back home by flight from Ukraine.....

FTC Staff
February 20, 2024

In reply to by Debbie Weeaks

No, do not send money for troops to fly home. The military pays for all food, clothes, medical care, and flights for troops. Do not send your money.