How to recover money from romance scam

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How to recover money from romance scam

The era of the internet has encouraged people to find love online. There are several online dating sites where millions of lonely hearts try to find their soulmate. However, instead of finding their best match, they end up falling prey to romance scammers. A romance scam is a practice where some scammers create a fake profile on dating sites and lure people into a romantic trap. Once they gain your love and trust, they trick you into sending them money by making some fake story. After receiving the money, they start distancing from you while searching for other prey.

These kinds of fraudsters are very patient in trapping their prey. They often claim to be working overseas or deep in debt. They mostly and promotes an online relationship to hide their true identity. According to a report by FTC, romance scams have reached a record of $304 million in losses during 2020. These scammers usually contact their target through popular social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Google Hangouts. They try to quickly build up a relationship and build trust. They often ask for money with an excuse to pay their rents, medical bills or debts.

The lies you hear from romance scammers

Romance scammers often lie about living overseas for work to avoid in-person meetings. They often that they are:

  • Having an overseas job.
  • Working as a doctor with an international organization.
  • Working in the military.

They usually give the following excuses to ask for money:

  • To pay for their travelling expenses or plane tickets.
  • To cover medical emergency expenses.
  • Pay custom fees to retrieve something.
  • Pay off debts.
  • Pay for a visa or other official travel documents.

How to prevent romance scams

  • Beware of the people who start expressing love too quickly. If you suspect a romance scam, stop communicating with that person immediately.
  • Pay attention if your family members or friends show concern about your new love interest.
  • Do not share personal details or stories if you haven’t met the person in real. If they rush you into providing details, then it is a warning sign.
  • Try out your stalking skills. Check if the person exists on other social media sites. In case, the details don’t match on another account, then you should be suspicious.
  • Bank information is something that should never be shared with anyone until and unless you have met them in real or have gained complete trust in them.

How to recover your money from romance scam

  • In case you have paid a romance scammer with a gift card and after some time, you come across their true intentions, then it is still not too late. You can directly contact the company that issued the card, give them the details and ask if they can refund the money.
  • If you suspect a scam, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. and give them the details about the website or app where you met the scammer.
  • You can also report the person on the same app where you met them.

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