With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, you may be trying to find a date online.
FBI Springfield wants you to be cautious with online dating this time of year, as scammers are tuning their scams to the beat of Valentine’s Day.
FBI acknowledges many find love online, but says that folks should keep these warning signs in mind when trying to find a date.
If the potential scammer asks you to leave the dating website where you met to communicate solely through email or texting, that is a red flag. Another red flag could be if the individual professes love in a rapid manner.
The FBI says you should go slow and ask questions, and never send money to someone you met online and have not met in person. You should also be suspicious if you have not met the individual in person after a few months of contact.
Other warning signs include consistent cancellation of plans to visit you, an individual trying to isolate you from friends or family, or if the individual claims they know about cryptocurrency while offering to help you make a substantial profit.
Special Agent with the Springfield Field Office David Nanz says that romance scammers work hard perfecting the skill of playing to a victim’s emotions, which can lead to heartbreak and devastating financial losses.
Preliminary results for the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center indicate a reported victim loss of nearly $1 billion. In Illinois, 2020 losses totaled over $150 million.
FBI Springfield encourages you to report internet crimes at 217-522-9675.