Data Security

Romance Scams

Romance scam artists will pose as a romantic interest online and speak with their victims anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of years trying to establish trust. At times, they or someone else will even meet the victim in person. Once they feel they have gained their trust, they will then begin asking for money so that they can come to the U.S. from another country, or they will explain that they have a package with money in it being held in U.S. customs and ask you to send money to their agent so it can be released. Whatever their story, the end result often leaves the victim heartbroken and penniless. Worse yet, they may also send money to you from other people or themselves in an attempt to make you a “money mule,” which according to the FBI is “someone who transfers illegally acquired money on behalf of or at the direction of another.” Handling these funds on the behalf of someone who is scamming you or others could even implicate you in illegal activity. Therefore, always use caution when dealing with individuals you have not met in person or when something seems too good to be true.