Beware of the heartbreakers

Avoiding romance scams

Falling in love online carries inherent risks, and lurking predators known as romance scammers exploit these vulnerabilities. These con artists weave webs of false affection, ultimately aiming to swindle victims out of money and emotional well-being. By recognizing the telltale signs and implementing practical safeguards, you can navigate the digital dating scene with confidence and keep your heart safe.

Red flags to watch out for

  • Too perfect to be true: Does your online Romeo shower you with compliments and declarations of undying love within days? Genuine connections take time and effort to build.
  • Tragic tales and urgent pleas: Put your guard up if you hear sob stories about illness, family emergencies, or financial woes, followed by desperate pleas for money. True love wouldn’t involve burdening you with their problems.
  • Vagueness and inconsistencies: Watch for inconsistencies in their stories, professions, or even their names. If they dodge video calls or meeting in person, alarm bells should be ringing.
  • Pressured financial requests: Legitimate love interests wouldn’t pressure you for financial support. Never send money, gift cards, or financial information to someone you haven’t met in person. 

How to protect yourself

  • Choose reliable platforms: Use reputable dating sites and apps with stringent verification processes. 
  • Take it slow: True connections develop gradually. Take your time building a connection. Ask questions, listen actively, and observe their consistency. 
  • Keep it online for now: Avoid moving conversations off the platform too soon to protect your personal information.
  • Seek trusted opinions: Share your doubts with friends or family. Their objective perspective can help you see red flags you might miss.
  • Reverse image search is your friend: Doubt their profile picture? Run it through a reverse image search engine to see if it appears elsewhere online.

Protecting yourself from romance scams isn’t about cynicism; it’s about practicing healthy vigilance. By staying informed, taking your time, and trusting your instincts, you can find genuine love online without falling prey to deceit.

About This Author


Alpine Bank Staff

Alpine Bank is an independent, employee-owned organization with headquarters in Glenwood Springs and banking offices across Colorado’s Western Slope, mountains and Front Range.

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