Cupid With Poison Arrows? Avoiding Romance Scams

A record number of consumers have reported being victims of romance scams, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), that shows consumers lost $304 million to the scam last year. That’s up about 50 percent from 2019 and more than four times the amount reported in 2016. With the increase in romance scams across the country, BancorpSouth wants to help its customers and teammates protect their money and their hearts. How Romance Scams Work

A Few Things To Watch For

  • They ask for money - Scammers will find a reason to ask you for money — to buy a phone card to keep chatting, maybe to help with emergencies, hospital bills, travel or perhaps something else.

  • They require specific payment methods - They will ask you to give them money via a gift card, by money transfer or cryptocurrency.

  • Their online profile seems too good to be true - Romance scammers sometimes build interesting profiles on social media sites and dating apps.

  • They say they’re far away - They might say they can’t meet in person because they’re overseas for business or military service.

  • The relationship is moving fast - Romance scammers profess their love quickly.

  • They break promises to see you - They repeatedly promise to meet you in person but always seem to have an excuse to cancel.

Reporting A Romance Scam As A Victim

  • If you paid a romance scammer with a gift card, contact the company that issued the card right away. Explain the gift card you paid for was given to a scammer and ask if the money can be refunded.

  • Notify your bank if your personal information was compromised.

  • Change passwords on all your email, social and financial accounts.

  • Report romance scams to the dating or social networking site.

  • File a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

  • Report the scam to the FTC.

BancorpSouth regularly provides fraud and scam awareness information to our customers. For more information about romance scams, visit the FTC’s website.