Monday, February 14, 2022

Valentines Day Romance Scam Reminder

Senior West Virginians are targets for romance scams. The scammers are so good at convincing you that their love is real, even when it is really just a relationship designed to get you to give them your money, or unknowingly participate in a money mule scheme.

There are a few clues that can help identify when your true love on the internet is not true at all.

  • They are far far away. Never close enough for a visit, and when they do plan a visit there is always a last minute excuse they can't make it.
  • It happened so fast. Real relationships take time, but scammers make you believe it is love at first internet sight, they'll instantly say you are soulmates and use lots of honey and babe terms of endearment fast.
  • They just need a little money for something sudden and important. Usually they want it a very specific payment method, like through a gift card or Western Union. Then the demands get bigger and switch, like to a money mule scam.
  • True love is not jealous. If your far away sweetheart starts getting upset with you and jealous because you talk to other people including your friends and family, that is a big red flag something is not right. Don't ignore it. Being hot and cold with you and making you worried you'll upset them is called gaslighting. It is designed to push you to do things you wouldn't do if you if you were feeling calm and had time to think.
  • Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from romance scams:

  • Don't ever give your online/telephone sweetheart your bank information, social security number, or other personal details like your mom's maiden name, the street you grew up on, your first car model, etc.
  • Be ready to say NO to requests for money, no matter how urgent or reasonable it sounds.
  • Stop. Hang up. Walk away for a minute. Think. Don't feel pressured to do anything in a rush, urgency is a classic tactic of scammers.
  • Tell someone you trust as soon as you get a feeling something is not right. This can be very hard. It can be embarrassing. But someone you really know you can trust can be the lifeline that saves you from making a small loss into a huge loss.
  • If you are at least 60 years old and a West Virginian you can call and talk to a lawyer for free about scams, financial exploitation, or any civil legal problem or question. 1.800.229.5068.

    No comments: