How to Spot a Romance Scam: The Most Common Signs

What are the most common signs of a romance scam?

In the search for companionship or love, many turn to online dating platforms. Unfortunately, this has also led to a rise in romance scams, where fraudsters create fake profiles to exploit individuals emotionally and financially. Due to the emotional aspect of the scam, romance scams have quickly become one of the most popular methods used by scammers (Top 10 scams of 2024). Recognizing the signs of a romance scam is crucial to protect yourself from becoming a victim. This guide will explore the most common indicators of a romance scam and offer advice on what to do if you suspect deceptive intentions.

Understanding Romance Scams

What is a Romance Scam?

  • A romance scam occurs when someone creates a fake identity on a dating platform or social media to form relationships with unsuspecting individuals, only to exploit them financially by playing on emotional triggers. Below is an example of a conversation where the scammer consistently has excuses as to why they cannot meet in person.

Common Signs of a Romance Scam

1. Too Fast, Too Soon

  • Details: Scammers often profess love quickly to manipulate their victims emotionally.
  • Prevention Tip: Be wary of anyone who declares their love unusually quickly without meeting in person.

2. Profile and Communication Red Flags

  • Details: Scammers typically use stolen, AI generated, or stock images and may have inconsistencies in their story or struggle with language if they claim to be from your country but aren’t.
  • Prevention Tip: Perform a reverse image search of their profile picture and be cautious of inconsistencies in communication.

3. Avoiding Video Calls and Meetings

  • Details: Scammers often come up with elaborate excuses for why they cannot meet in person or participate in video calls.
  • Prevention Tip: Insist on video chats early in the relationship and be suspicious if they consistently refuse to meet in person. Moreover, if the scammer sends you a video, makes sure they say or hold up something you agreed on before to prove the video hasn’t be stolen or reused. 

4. Requests for Money

  • Details: The scammer will eventually make a request for money, often for an emergency, travel, or a supposedly temporary financial hardship.
  • Prevention Tip: Never send money or share your financial details with someone you haven’t met in person.

5. Moving Off the Dating Site

  • Details: Scammers quickly try to move communication off the dating platform to email, text, or instant messaging. The two most common messaging platforms used by scammers are WhatsApp and Telegram.
  • Prevention Tip: Keep communications on the platform where you met, as they are often monitored for scam activity.

What are the most common signs of a romance scam?

Romance scams can lead to significant emotional and financial damage. Recognizing the signs can help you avoid falling for such schemes. Trust your instincts—if something feels off, it probably is. Always protect your personal information and financial assets when engaging with prospective partners online.

Let Warded Help

If you suspect you’re interacting with a scammer or have questions about an online relationship, reach out to Warded for help. We’re here to support you and provide guidance on how to protect yourself from these deceitful tactics. Consider signing up for our scam protection where we will provide 1-on-1 guidance on how to handle a romance scam. Click here to find out more.

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Warded Editorial Team

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