Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and love is in the air! Unfortunately, so are scams. Each year, thousands of people fall victim to “sweetheart scams," when scammers use fake social media and online dating profiles to take advantage of people looking for love and connection. These scammers are experts at sparking relationships quickly and convincing their victims to hand over their financial and personal information. In 2020 alone,
reported losses from romance fraud reached a record $304 million. That's about a 50% increase from 2019!
Protect your heart — and your finances — with these tips for avoiding romance scams (and other types of online fraud):
If you believe you're a victim of a sweetheart scam or any other type of online fraud, stop communicating with the scammer immediately. If you sent money to a scammer, report the incident to your financial institution right away. Then, inform your local law enforcement agency and file reports with the
FTC and the
FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Wright-Patt Credit Union (WPCU) is here to help you stay up-to-date on the latest scams and protect against fraud. For more helpful fraud prevention tips, tools and resources, check out our
Fraud Prevention page.