People are continuing to fall victim to romance scams.
FBI Portland announced this week that romance fraud victims lost $1 billion in 2021.
Romance scams are believed to be underreported, so the actual amount lost is likely much higher.
Typically, women over the age of 40 are a target for these types of scams.
Especially if they are widowed, divorced, elderly and/or disabled, according to the FBI.
Investigators warn that scammers may be direct in asking for money or they may pretend they need money due to a big emergency.
They will ask for cash and will often avoid meeting in person.
Scammers will also trick victims into releasing personal information, including dates of birth and bank account numbers.
Some warning signs that someone may be trying to scam you include:
- Wanting to leave a dating app and move to email or text.
- Asking or pressuring you for explicit or compromising photos of yourself.
- Their photos look too perfect or professional.
- They always ask for money or help moving money.
The FBI recommends people research the person you meet online, question why they can’t meet you in person.
They advise avoiding travel to a foreign country to meet someone and being careful about how much information you meet online.
If you believe you are the victim of a romance scam or other type of fraud, report it to the FBI online or call your FBI local office.