“According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers lost more than $547 Million to romance scams in 2021 – up nearly 80% from 2020,” said Attorney General Landry. “It is imperative for consumers to learn how to identify scammers in order to protect their hearts and their treasures.”
Attorney General Jeff Landry offers the following tips to protect consumers from falling victim to fraud when engaging in online relationships:
- Protect Personal Information. Do not share sensitive information (i.e., home address and Social Security Number).
- Never Send Money. Look out for red flags like similar stories used in other scams or requests for gift card payments.
- Keep Guard Up. Be extremely wary of dates claiming phone conversation is not possible (wanting to leave the date site immediately to use personal email or instant messaging) or alleging to be American traveling or working overseas.
- Don’t Swipe on Iffy Pictures. Do a reverse image search of the person’s profile picture to see if it is associated with a different name or unfamiliar details.
Attorney General Landry also encouraged dating site users to report suspicious activity or scams to the FTC’s Consumer Response Center by calling 1-877-FTC HELP (1-877-382-4357) or submitting it online at ftc.gov/complaint.