How to protect yourself from romance scams

Published on Mar 01, 2022

How to protect yourself from romance scams

According to a recent Forbes article, Americans reportedly lost a staggering $1 billion to romance scammers in 2021, making it the worst year for such scams on record. The Federal Trade Commission said that many of the scammers in 2021 lured their victims into sending them cryptocurrency or tricked them with fake cryptocurrency advice.

Romance scams have increased exponentially during the pandemic, as social isolation has driven more people to seek out romance and companionship online on apps like Tinder. There’s even a new documentary about this called “The Tinder Swindler”. While many of the romance scams took place on dating apps, more than a third of victims reported that they were contacted through social media apps like Facebook or Instagram.

It’s important to understand that scammers are adept at gaining people’s trust, telling convincing lies and concocting plausible stories. Don’t get so caught up in the prospect of new love that you miss key warning signs.

Warning Signs to Watch Out For

Ways to Protect Yourself

What to Do if You Are Scammed

If you suspect you are being (or have been) scammed, immediately stop all communication with the suspected scammer. If you’ve sent any money via gift card, contact the company that issued the gift card, report the scam, and see if it is possible to get a refund.

Additionally, notify your bank if any financial information was compromised, change your password on your dating, social media and financial accounts, and notify the dating or social media site where you met the scammer. Hopefully these tips will help ensure that the “The Tinder Swindler” story doesn’t happen to you or anyone you know. 

Finally, file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), and report the scam to the FTC.

At Valley, we’re here to help protect and secure your financial well-being. If you believe you have been a victim of fraud or you’re unsure, please contact your Banking Team, reach out to Valley Customer Care at 800-522-4100, or connect with us at


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