With such a huge social media platform like Facebook, you always have the option to meet more people — and maybe even the one. While that sounds exciting, romance scams increased by 20% in 2020. This means that potential love interests may just steal your heart (and money) in the end. So, if you want to know the signs of a Facebook romance scammer and how to avoid romance scams, check out the article below!
What Are the Signs of a Facebook Romance Scammer?
With around 2.9 billion monthly Facebook users worldwide, the chances of getting “friend” requests are high. You may even find a potential partner on Facebook’s dating app. But what are the signs of a Facebook romance scammer? Here are some of them:
Uses Fake Photos
The first obvious sign is the use of fake, fancy photos. Romance scammers often use pictures of models that they stole from real accounts or got from stock image sites. While the pretty faces and bodies might catch your attention, you will see that only a few photos are available. No image features their whole body as well. Some scammers will just use images of different places.
Declares Love Too Soon
While it’s only been a week or two since you started talking, romance scammers will quickly express strong emotions toward you. Even if they haven’t met you in person, they’ll say they fell head over heels for you and even wish to visit and marry you. However, their only goal is to gain your trust, collect your personal information, and steal your money. Those love confessions may also contain spelling and grammar errors and were just copied and pasted, so don’t get blinded by all the sweet words.
Refuses To Meet in Person
One of the most common signs of a Facebook romance scammer is that they always have excuses not to meet you in person. First, they will say they’re from the U.S., but they’re stationed abroad because they work in the military or at an oil rig. Then, they promise to visit you, but when the time comes, they suddenly have an emergency to attend to. As they want to hide their identity, you’ll never get to meet them.
Shares Compromising Photos
Facebook romance scammers also tend to share explicit photos and videos to encourage you to do the same. They’re not worried about sending such sensitive content because they’ve just stolen it. Agreeing to send intimate images and videos will only give them the power to blackmail you for money.
Asks for Money
When romance scammers think they already have your trust, they will start asking you for money for several purposes. For instance, they have a sick family member or someone just died, and they need financial assistance for the hospital bills or the funeral. Others will say that they need money for their Visa application so they can finally visit you. They will also pretend that they’re starting a business and need more funds. From travel to medical and emergency reasons, scammers never run out of fake stories to empty your bank account.
Requests Specific Payment Options
Aside from asking for money, they will shamelessly request specific methods to get the amount. They love wire transfers and gift cards because it’s hard to recover your money with these options. And if you refuse to send them money or only give them a small amount, they might start getting more demanding and hostile.
How To Avoid That Facebook Romance Scammer
While there’s nothing wrong with meeting people through Facebook, you should learn how to avoid romance scams by keeping these tips in mind.
- Never wire money or purchase gift cards for your online partner or anyone you haven’t met in person. Chances are you’ll never get it back.
- Do not share too much information on your social media accounts, including Facebook. Romance scammers can use your photos and other information to steal your identity.
- Search their sweet messages online. You may see that others have been receiving the same types of messages.
- Ask your love interest a series of in-depth questions. You might catch some inconsistencies with their stories.
- Ask for a video call to confirm whether they’re real or an imposter. If they always give a reason not to chat, they might not be who they claim they to be.
- Talk to your family and friends regarding your new online love interest. They can help you tell whether you’re being fooled for money, saving you from another heartbreak.
- Never send explicit images and videos to avoid potential threats from your online love interest.
- If you think you’ve met a romance scammer, report them to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
Ignore That Facebook Romance Scammer With Social Catfish
Falling in love is one of the best feelings in the world if you meet the right person — not a romance scammer. So, beware of the signs of a Facebook romance scammer. To help protect your heart (and your wallet), find out someone’s real identity through our reverse search platform!