Don’t get duped by a romance scam this Valentine’s Day

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Finance and Business

They say that love is blind. But don’t let the romantic season cover your eyes to potential tricks. So-called “phishing” scams are on the rise. These are when you get a message from a person pretending to be someone they’re not in order to steal your sensitive information or money.

One variation is what’s known as a romance scam. With so many of us using dating apps, websites and social media to meet people, it probably won’t come as a surprise that scammers often target these different platforms.

The platforms may be different, but the romance scam scenarios are usually the same. A person will connect with you, start building your trust by chatting with you regularly, but then insist that they can’t meet with you in person. A common excuse they’ll give is that they are working outside the country or in a remote location – like jobs in the military or on an oil rig.

Professions of love often come early in the conversation, and, once they’ve gained your trust, they will inevitably ask you for money. They might claim it’s to pay medical bills for a sick relative, or to cover legal fees or even travel costs so they can finally come visit you. In other cases, they’ll offer to help you invest money and get rich, like they have.

The type of payment they ask for is usually a red flag. They often ask you to send them gift cards or use cryptocurrency, neither of which are traceable, nor can they be recovered once sent.

If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, stop communicating with them immediately and then report the incident to your local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Find more tips to protect yourself online at getcybersafe.ca

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