The AARP is warning people of online romance scams ahead of Valentine’s Day, advising them to use caution when meeting new people online and to be wary of requests for money or monetary investments made by online romantic partners.
Requests for funds from love interests developed exclusively online, whether over social media, mobile games, apps or dating sites, are almost always scams, the organization stated.
“We need to change attitudes about romance scams, and it needs to be made more public,” said AARP Pennsylvania volunteer Kate Kleinert, who was the victim of a $39,000 scam. “This can easily happen to anyone.”
The Federal Trade Commission reported $1.3 billion in losses from romance scams in 2022.
– Use your browser’s image search feature to see if the picture of your love interest is associated with anyone else.
– Cut off contact if you suspect a scam.
– Notify the platform on which the initial contact took place.
– Call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline.
– Consider posting your experience on AARP’s Scam Tracker Map at aarp.org/scammap.