How to Avoid Being Scammed a Guide for Women - pt 1
There is no end to the number of ways criminals will try to part you from your money. And while most of us would like to believe that it can’t happen to us, it can. From doctors and lawyers to Wall Street legends, extremely wealthy businessmen and even famed conmen, anyone at any age can be scammed under the right circumstances.
One type of scam that is growing in popularity, and is particularly useful on women, is the romance scam. According to the Federal Trade Commission, victims reported losing more than $210 million in 2019* to these types of scams. In fact, the FTC says these types of scams result in more losses than any other types of scams.
Here’s how it can work:
- You meet someone online through a dating site
- You start texting and maybe talking over the phone, but there is always a reason why they cannot meet you in person and may not even be able to FaceTime with you
- They tell you they love you and you are the one for them—they may even talk of marriage. BUT, they can’t marry you, be with you, or meet you live until they do something else that requires money [need to pay off a debt/start a new business/finish a new investment]
- It’s all very convincing—they want to live with you/marry you/be with you after all, so perhaps you send them the money
- Some of them may keep you on the line, trying to get more and more money from you, while others may immediately ghost you and delete their accounts. Either way, no relationship will ever truly come from it and you will not get your money back.
Too good to be true?
Another, newer romance scam revolves around sites designed to help you find or become a sugar daddy or momma. Perhaps you’re thinking, how will I get scammed if they’re going to be paying my bills? But that’s precisely how they get you:
- You develop a relationship with someone online and either they agree to pay your bills or to pay you for your company.
- Naturally, they will ask for the credit card information in order to pay it off or they’ll ask for your banking information in order to make a deposit into your account.
- Once they have this information, they can access your credit and bank accounts at will.
It’s worth noting that this type of scam can work even if you are the one willing to pay the bills. The other party may simply say they need your banking information in order to let the credit card company, or whomever it is, know where the payment or deposit will be coming from.
In order to try to avoid falling prey to these and other scams, here are some tips that may be helpful.
- Always be cautious about people you meet online, trust your instincts and take it slow
- Never give your financial information to anyone you have not met face to face
- Report anyone you meet online who asks you to send them money to the appropriate site’s administrators
Gasber Financial is dedicated to helping you keep your assets safe. In our next installment, we’ll discuss other popular scams and tips for avoiding them.