Attorney General Todd Rokita urges Indiana consumers to be on the lookout for romance scams approaching the holiday season.
“Online dating is a popular route for a lot of people these days in their search for true love,” Attorney General Rokita said. “In some cases, innocent people are connecting with scammers who lie and cheat them out of their hard-earned money instead. Protecting Hoosiers from fraudsters is one of my office’s top priorities.”
In romance scams, perpetrators prey on unsuspecting matches by creating fake profiles to take advantage of victims online. They go to great lengths to pose as prospective romantic partners with similar interests to lure people into providing gifts, money, or personal information.
Just this year, a Westfield resident lost nearly $100 million to a romance scam. This type of dupery can happen even in Indiana. According to the FBI, victims of romance scams lost $1 billion in 2021 alone.
Here are a few warning signs that someone might be more interested in your money or personal information than a relationship:
- Your new romantic interest sends a picture that doesn’t look realistic. Rather, the person looks more like a model from a fashion magazine.
- The relationship is moving fast, and the other person quickly professes their love for you.
- The person attempts to isolate you from friends and family.
- The person requests inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used against you.
- The person can’t meet you in person or communicate on facetime.
- The person asks you for money to buy their ticket to visit you, help pay for medical expenses (for them or a family member) or invest in a business.
- The person tells you how to pay. He or she requires specific payment methods that are hard to recoup, such as a wire transfer, preloaded gift card, cryptocurrency, or money transfer app.
If you ever suspect a scam of any type, file a complaint at indianaconsumer.com or call Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office at 1-800-382-5516.