FTC: Money Lost to Romance Scams Up Almost 40% from 2018 to 2019

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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