Don’t Go Breaking My Heart… or My Bank Account

By BankSource on 8/30/2023

Have you ever been scrolling on social media and suddenly get a new message request? Or maybe you’re scrolling on a dating app and hitting it off with someone. While both are perfectly fine, it is best to keep an eye out for romance scams.

The biggest lie you’ll ever believe is that it could never happen to you.

Scammers are creative, friendly, and can be very convincing. Many scams prey on your emotions, wants, and needs to gain sensitive personal information or convince you to willingly send them money. There are an unbelievable number of scams and scammers who are always updating their tactics. Scammers are sneaky, be sure to stay alert when receiving messages and clicking on links.

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What are Romance Scams:

Romance scams happen online, whether that be over social media, through online dating, or on a dating app. The scammer creates a fake profile to romantically connect with you and attempts to manipulate you into sending them money. And you better believe, they will do whatever it takes to get you to give it away.

There are just a few characteristics to keep in mind about romance scammers: they are excellent liars, they want you to trust them, and they can make any fake profile look real. These scammers are so good that they may even send you gifts and money first, just in an effort to build your trust. The biggest thing to know is that the relationship is going to feel real. So real that you may convince yourself that you are not being scammed.

TIP: Never send money to someone you have not met in person.

How to Spot a Romance Scam:

The person you are messaging wants to leave the dating service you are using immediately. They will ask to text or use your personal email instead.

They say they are unable to meet you in person because they are overseas for work/travel/military duties, etc.

They ask for money to be sent immediately for things such as medical expenses, travel expenses for you to be able to see them, helping them get out of trouble, etc. This is to play on your emotions and make it more likely for you to send money.

After asking for money, the person you are messaging tells you how to send it- often through sites like Western Union, Money Gram, or gift cards. The person may even ask you to set up a new bank account.

TIP: Even if not all these signs are present, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Look up the person’s picture on the internet, if multiple different names come up, they are probably a scammer.

Most importantly, you should know that it’s easy to be scammed, and you are not the only one. You may care about this person and feel like you can trust them, that’s understandable.

But at BOS we want to protect your bank account and your heart.

How to Report:

If you suspect a scammer, you should:

  • Reach out to your bank and let them know of the fraudulent activity as soon as possible.
  • Report to the Federal trade Commission (FTC) at
  • Report the scammer profile on the app or website where they made contact with you.

Watch the BankCents Podcast episode: Navigating a Fraudulent Environment

Read More About Romance Scams from the FTC

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