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How to Avoid Online Romance Scams

So I saw this in The Straits Times telegram channel the other day and I just have to share it because it is so funny yet sad at the same time:

“I hug my pillow and realise that super single isn't just my mattress size - it is also an apt description of my love life.”

Maybe this is why people are falling prey more easily to online scammers, because they just want that bit of love and attention from somebody.

But did you know that people who said they were ages 40 to 69 reported losing money to romance scams at the highest rates – more than twice the rate of people in their 20s. At the same time, people 70 and over reported the highest individual median losses at $10,000.

Crazy isn’t it?

I mean, yes it is well known that people online aren’t always as they appear. However, tens of thousands of internet users still fall victim to online romance scams each year. These scams can be incredibly convincing and are increasingly found across dating sites and social media platforms. And these scammers are great at giving their victims all the love and attention they need. By appealing to victims’ emotions and feigning personal connections, scammers will try to steal large sums of money and personal information.

So how do you identify a scam and protect yourself online:

If you think you are being scammed:

Look out for red flags

Scammers can be very convincing, however there are ways to identify a scammer, including but not limited to the following red flags:

  1. There’s a request for money for urgent matters, such as medical expenses or a plane ticket

  2. Never send money to someone you haven’t met in person

  3. The person claims to live overseas or be in the military

  4. The person professes love quickly

  5. There’s pressure to move the conversation off the platform to a different site

Know what action to take

If you believe you are the victim of a scam, it is important to take the following steps:

  1. Cease communications with the scammer immediately

  2. Take note of any identifiable information you may have on the scammer, such as their email address, IP address, or other information in their full header

  3. Contact your bank or credit card company if you think you’ve given money to a scammer

  4. Report the scammer to the FTC at

  5. Notify the website or app where you met the scammer

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