Though the "romance scam" is nothing new, the advent of new technologies and dating apps are allowing scammers to find different avenues to steal money and break hearts.
According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, romance scams cost nearly 5,900 victims more than $86.7 million last year. However, several people, especially men, don't report these scams so the number is probably higher.
Here are some tips to make sure you don't become a victim of a romance scam:
Move the relationship offline: Scammers will be reluctant to communicate or meet face-to-face because they are not who they have presented themselves to be. They may also be located in another city or country. If someone you are talking with online or a dating app is wary to take the relationship offline, this should definitely be a red flag.
Poor writing and grammar: If you notice odd sentence structure, poor grammar and strange word choices, it is likely you are talking with a foreign scammer.
Asking for money immediately: If your so-called "match" claims they need money or financial assistance for some type of an emergency, you should be wary. Once you reveal yourself vulnerable enough to give money once, the scammer won't hesitate to ask again.
If you believe you have been a victim of a romance scam, make sure to let the dating site know, contact your local authorities and the Internet Crime Complaint Center.