Romance scams on the rise during holidays, study says
According to a study done by an online security website, the number of people getting caught in romance scams has gone up because of the pandemic.
Comparitech estimates a 59% increase in the number of romance scams by the end of this year, compared to last year.
Officials with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of South Texas say scammers are taking advantage of people during the pandemic, using COVID-19 as an excuse for being unable to meet up.
Experts say scammers will typically get to know you first, profess their love to earn your trust, before finally scamming you.
"You end up sending [them] some money. They figured, 'okay I already got a victim,' you know, 'let’s see if I can come up—if they can give me some more money,'" President of the BBB of South Texas Hilda Martinez said. "What they end up doing is adding more to their story, making you feel sorry for them, making you try to help them out and you end up getting trapped by sending them some more money.”
Martinez says there are several warning signs of romance scams to look out for.
- • Ask to move away from dating website
- • Ask lots of questions about you, but tell you much about themselves
- • Have poor spelling or grammar, but claim they’re educated
- • Say they want to meet up, but find excuses not to
- • Ask for any sort of financial assistance
It could be a scam.
For more information about romance scams, visit BBB.org or call at 956-969-1804.