As Valentine’s Day approaches, if your offshore oil rig worker “boyfriend” – who looks like Bradley Cooper in his online pics and has hinted at proposing to you for months, but you’ve never met in real life – suddenly needs money for “hospital bills” … Just. Don’t. Do. It.
Romance scams cost victims at least $1.3 billion in 2022, according to the US Federal Trade Commission’s latest numbers. Almost 70,000 people reported these crimes last year, and the median reported loss was $4,400.
The most common lie that scammers told their marks is that they, or someone close to them, is sick, hurt or in jail, according to more than 8,000 romance scams reported to the FTC that cost consumers’ money. This line accounted for almost a quarter (24 percent) of all the theft.