What are they and how to look out for them | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans

Red broken heart paper on white keyboard computer background. Online internet romance scam or swindler in website application dating concept. Love is bait or victim.

SAN DIEGO (FOX 5/KUSI) — The FBI San Diego is warning about romance scams ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Scammers first target their victims who are looking for companionship or romantic partners typically through online dating sites, social media messaging or emails to establish a relationship as quick as possible, the law enforcement agency said in a news release Tuesday. They then trick the victims into sending money, personal and financial information, or items of value to the perpetrator.

“Confidence fraud/romance scams have resulted in one of the highest amounts of financial losses when compared to other internet-facilitated crimes,” the FBI San Diego said. “The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received more than 19,000 complaints about confidence fraud in 2022, with reported losses of nearly $740 million.”

The FBI San Diego is also advising the public to be aware of crypto investment fraud schemes that have gained traction recently. Authorities describe the scam as an online relationship, which then leads to the perpetrator asking the victim for cash and convincing them to invest in cryptocurrency. Victims are then sent to websites that are controlled by the scammer.

“Once the victim makes a purchase, they are unable to cash out their investments and the scammer disappears,” the FBI San Diego explained.

The FBI San Diego provides five safety tips when looking out for a romance scam:

  • If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. Trust your instincts.
  • If you suspect an online relationship is a scam, stop all contact immediately.
  • Do not give any personal information or money to anyone you have only communicated with by telephone or online.
  • Be careful what you post online. Scammers can use details shared on social media platforms and dating sites to legitimize their story.
  • If you are planning to meet someone in person you have met online, proceed with caution, especially if you plan to travel to a foreign country. Review the State department’s travel advisories before arranging travel. (

Anyone who believes they’ve been a victim of fraud or knows someone who may be a victim should file a report on or call the FBI San Diego Field Office at 858-320-1800.

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