Don’t Let Online Dating Scams Steal Your Cash

SouthState customer preventing dating scams
Online dating site scams, or romance scams, bring heartbreak to victims looking for connection. Successful couples meet online each day, but it’s important to watch for red flags that could indicate fraud.

According to Pew Research, 3 of every 10 adults in the U.S. report using a dating app. With those numbers, it’s no wonder online dating scam stories are prevalent.

Many scammers create profiles on free dating apps to extort money, but savvy ones will use any platform or app to steal cash and break hearts.

If you find yourself swept up in a whirlwind romance online, take note if the other person begins to ask you to send money or compromising photos. Before making any type of commitment, it’s smart to:

Check facts

Is the person who he or she says they are? Can you find matching social media profiles to verify their identity?

Search by photo

Your match looks amazing in their app photos. Perhaps too good? Do a reverse image search to see if Google recognizes their photos as stock images or taken from an international site.

Beware of excuses

You’ve made plans to meet your match for coffee. He or she cancels again and again with a vague excuse.
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If plans continue changing and you haven’t met in person after months of communication, your match may be a scammer.

Avoid sending photos

We all know sending compromising photos can turn negative after a bad breakup. Sending explicit photos to a scammer, however, could result in blackmail. This type of scam begins with the scammer sending fake explicit photos to their match and requesting photos back. They then threaten to post photos unless they’re paid, often with an untraceable gift card, according to reports from the Federal Trade Commission. Never send money to someone you only talked to through an app or by phone.

Beware of anonymous matches

An unexpected DM feels flattering, but unsolicited compliments could be a red flag. Scammers often start the connection, then ask to move the conversation to a platform like WhatsApp that conceals their true identity.

Connection, not investment

You want to invest time and energy into a new romance but avoid investing money. Your match says they have good intentions in asking for an investment, but they may run off with your heart and money.

If you live in the U.S. and someone is using your own photos to extort you, call the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative’s crisis hotline: 844-878-CCRI (2274) for help or advice.

If you or someone you know does fall victim to a scam, contact SouthState immediately at (800) 277-2175.

  • This content is general in nature and provided for informational use only. Content may be used in connection with the advertising and marketing of products and services offered by SouthState Bank, N.A. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. This is not to be considered legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You should seek individualized advice from personal financial, legal, tax and/or other professionals, as appropriate depending on the specific facts of your situation. We do not make any warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of this information and have no liability for your use of this information.

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