By Crystal Baldwin
There are perfect matches online, and there are scammers. How can a person tell the difference when online profiles of scammers can be just as good as, if not better than, profiles of existing people? Scams that prey on trust and deceive through relationships of confidence and romance are among the most heart wrenching. How can you look for love online, while keeping your heart protected?
Armor your heart by using verification strategies:
Verify the person’s identity:
- Using image search, you can see how frequently a photo occurs elsewhere online and in different profiles
- Ask contacts what they think
- Ask photo poses with very specific uncommon photos
- Video chat on your terms and don’t accept excuses of having slow internet
Armor your heart by knowing the signs of a scammer:
- Refuses to provide additional photos
- Refuses to chat through webcam
- Is difficult to reach by phone, or prohibited from calling
- Has excuses as to why you can’t meet
- Needs money, or financial support of any nature, including a business venture
- Wants to “strengthen the relationship” by sharing personal identifiable information (accounts, passwords, credit cards, and more) or opening lines of credit together
You can find love online and avoid scams. Before looking for love online, armor your heart by visiting our romance scam prevention site: https://ago.vermont.gov/cap/scam-prevention-through-awareness-and-education/romance-imposter-scams
We created videos and tools to help you identify online romance scams.
If you or someone you know has encountered a scam in Vermont, report it. Use CAP’s online scam reporting form and visit the our scam recovery webpage.
Help us stop these scams by sharing this information with those you care about.