New Federal Trade Commission data from the agency’s Consumer Sentinel Network show that consumers reported losing $201 million to romance scams in 2019—up nearly 40% since 2018.
Romance scammers prey on consumers who are looking for love, converting what feels like a budding relationship into an ask for money to help the scammer get out of some manufactured crisis. The stories and feelings can be compelling, and the losses can be huge.
In 2019, more than 25,000 consumers filed a report with the FTC about romance scams, and over the past two years total reported losses to romance scams were higher than to any other scam reported to the FTC.
A new blog post “It’s not true love if they ask for money” from the FTC has more information about the scams, including tips for recognizing a romance scam, along with a new infographic highlighting the latest data.
More information is also available on the FTC’s romance scam page, as well as in a video. Information about FTC complaint data can be found at ftc.gov/exploredata, and consumers can file a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint.
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According to @FTC , victims of romance scams lost $201 million in the USA last year. Scammers use fake profiles🚩move fast in relationships🚩are "overseas"🚩 need money🚩want pre-paid gift cards 🚩 🚩🚩Never send money to a love interest you haven't met! It's a Romance Scam💔! pic.twitter.com/5I0jmmwNBh
— NYPD Crime Prevention Division (@NYPDCPD) February 14, 2020
Take relationships slow to avoid getting swept away by a #RomanceScam. Scammers advance relationships rapidly, professing #love and promising the world to gain your trust when the goal is sweeping money from your accounts.
Report fraud & attempted fraud to https://t.co/bUe7avIhlz pic.twitter.com/QLvxsRxKJt
— FBI Sacramento (@FBISacramento) February 15, 2020
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) February 15, 2020