Signs You're Falling for a Romance Scam


Warning Signs You’re Falling For a Romance Scam

With Valentine's Day just behind the bend, many of us may find ourselves seeking companionship and connection through online dating platforms. However, amidst the excitement of potential matches, it's essential to remain vigilant against the rising threat of romance scams.

From rushed declarations of affection to persistent excuses for avoiding face-to-face meetings, we'll highlight the red flags to watch out for in your online interactions. By staying informed and aware, you can help ensure a safe (and real) experience in the world of digital romance this Valentine's season.

Declarations of Love Come Early & Often

Scammers often bombard their targets with declarations of love and affection early in the relationship, aiming to create a strong emotional bond quickly to counter any suspicion their victim might feel. Take the love and affection with a grain of salt before you’ve met them in person and have more reasons to trust them.

They Ask You For Money

One of the most telling signs of a romance scam is when the person you've been communicating with online starts asking for money. Be wary if your online love interest requests payments through untraceable methods like wire transfers, gift cards or cryptocurrencies. Scammers prefer these payment methods as they are difficult to trace and provide them with anonymity, making it easier to perpetrate their schemes without repercussions.

Common reasons scammers ask for money include: funds for emergencies, travel expenses to visit you or medical bills for themselves or a family member. 

You Only Talk Through Text or Email

Scammers avoid phone calls and video chats, preferring to communicate through text or email where they can carefully craft their persona and control the information they share. They may provide excuses for why they can't talk on the phone or meet in person, making a barrier to verifying their identity fits what they’ve shown you online.

Your Plans to Meet Are Always Canceled

Scammers are usually experienced at concocting excuses to avoid meeting in person, verifying their identity or providing additional details about their life. They may claim to have a hectic work schedule, family emergencies or travel restrictions that prevent them from meeting face-to-face. They string their victims along with promises of future meetings that never materialize, keeping the relationship online where they can maintain distance and control the narrative more easily.

Don't overlook persistent excuses, and at least insist on a video call if they are being honest about their work schedule that really is hectic.

You Get Asked Too Many Questions About Your Finances

If your online match shows an unusually keen interest in your financial situation early in the relationship, proceed with caution. Scammers may probe for information about your income, savings or investments, looking for the best way to exploit you. Avoid sharing sensitive financial details with someone you've just met online.

Your Friends And Family Are Concerned

Pay attention if friends or family members express concerns about your online relationship. They may notice red flags or inconsistencies that you've overlooked in your interactions with the scammer. Take their concerns seriously and consider their perspective as an outside observer.

Their Profile Is Suspicious

If their social media and dating profile lacks credibility or contradict each other, proceed with caution. Double-check for discrepancies in photos, personal details or relationship history. Trust your instincts if you see something you think is suspicious.

Dos and Don'ts of Online Dating:


  • Use reputable dating sites.
  • Get to know the person gradually over time.
  • Meet in public places for at least the first few dates.
  • Trust your instincts and be cautious if something feels off.
  • Inform a friend or family member about your plans when meeting someone new.
  • Keep personal information private. This includes your address and anything at all about your finances. If you believe you shared financial information with someone suspicious, contact us immediately.


  • Share sensitive information too quickly.
  • Agree to meet in private or secluded locations.
  • Send money when you haven’t met them in person.
  • Overlook the red flags or inconsistencies in their stories.
  • Get too emotionally invested before being sure they are who they say they are.

What to Do If You Suspect a Romance Scam:

  • Take Emotion Out of It: Take a step back and assess the situation objectively.
  • Look at the Evidence: Document any suspicious messages, requests for money or inconsistencies in their story.
  • Talk It Over with People You Trust: Discuss your concerns with friends, family or online communities for support and advice.
  • Report to Authorities: Contact your local law enforcement agency or file a complaint with organizations like the FTC or FBI if you believe you're dealing with a scammer.

Entrust Your Finances to Ideal Credit Union

This Valentine's Day, fall in love with your financial partner: Ideal Credit Union. We believe the best relationships are built on trust, security, and a little bit of interest—financial interest, that is! 

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