Here's how they work:
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.
Here’s what to do:
- Stop. Don’t send money. Never send anyone cash or pay with gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency to an online love interest. You won’t get it back.
- 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.
Want to know more?
Sign up for Consumer Alerts at ftc.gov/ConsumerAlerts.