INDIANA – As Valentine’s Day approaches, love is in the air — but so are romance scams, and Attorney General Todd Rokita wants Indiana consumers to be on the lookout.
“More people are going online these days to look for that special someone,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Many do so without a problem, but in some cases, folks are finding scammers instead. We want to protect Hoosiers from falling victim to fraudsters intent on taking advantage.”
In romance scams, perpetrators prey upon unsuspecting matches by creating fake profiles to take advantage of victims online. They go to great lengths to pose as prospective romantic partners with similar interests in order to lure people into providing gifts, money, or personal information.
Over recent years, these scams have been on the rise. According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2021 U.S. consumers reported $547 million in losses to romance scams — up about 80% from 2020.
Here are a few warning signs that someone might be more interested in your money or personal information than your affections:
- Your new romantic interest sends a picture that doesn’t look realistic. Rather, the person looks more like a model from a fashion magazine.
- The relationship is moving fast, and the other person quickly professes their love for you.
- Their story seems suspicious or off.
- The person attempts to isolate you from friends and family.
- The person requests inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used against you.
- The person asks you for money and requires specific payment methods such as a wire transfer, preloaded gift card or cash.
If you ever suspect a scam of any type, file a complaint at indianaconsumer.com or call Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office at 1-800-382-5516.