How To Protect Your Heart And Your Wallet

Love is in the air and so are romance scams. Fraudsters like to target vulnerable individuals this time of year by establishing trust in order to access personal information. Criminals will often use dating apps, chat rooms and social media to connect with their victims. Once they have won your trust, they exploit it by asking for money, personal information, or they may be so bold to directly ask for login credentials for secure sites.

These requests are often supported by seemingly legitimate reasons – they need money to visit a sick family member, they want your address to send you a birthday present, access to your bank account so they can give you friendly money advice etc. Even if you feel uncomfortable sometimes it is hard to say no to a new friend for fear the relationship might end. Reporting the crime may also garner feelings of embarrassment for falling prey to a romance scam.

Here is a list of potential red flags to watch out for when starting new relationships and actions you can take.

Red Flags

  • They quickly profess their love for you.
  • They request money for urgent matters: medical expenses, travel, charities, debts owed, etc.
  • They ask for any amount of money, login credentials, or personal info.
  • They claim to be in the military or live in another country.
  • They are constantly unavailable to meet in person.
  • The camera on their phone or computer isn't working.
  • They get on camera and it's blurry so you can't see their face.
  • They say they are waiting for a large settlement but need cash now.

Actions You Can Take

  • Discuss the situation with a trusted, unbiased friend or family member before you send money or give personal information, no matter how pressured you feel.
  • Report the person to the FTC at
  • Cease contact with the scammer as soon as possible.
  • If you've given money, file a police report at your local police station.

The important takeaway is to know that you are not alone, and embarrassment can be overcome. These are professional criminals that will continue to rob people of their trust and their money if they aren’t stopped. By looking out for these red flags and taking action, you can protect yourself and potentially protect others from heartache.

If you suspect you may have fallen victim to a scam please contact our member services at 800-221-4020.


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