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One of the most popular online dating scams is romance fraud, which robs unsuspecting victims of their money. In some cases, the criminals spend months on the process. They create a false sense of urgency to convince unsuspecting victims to part with money. It is important to report any such activity to the bank or the gardai. In 2017, the FBI’s Internet Crime Compliant Center received almost 15,000 reports of romance fraud. The victims lost more than $230 million as a result of this scam.

Romance fraud scams can range from sending money to becoming a money mules or being coerced into sextortion. These crimes have been on the rise for the past year, with the number of complaints increasing dramatically. Some of these crimes are extremely complicated, and the FBI’s Romance Fraud Guide provides helpful information for victims and their families. The website also offers guidance for those who have fallen victim to a romance-fraud scheme.

The FBI warns that victims should be extra cautious when sending money online. Most of these fraudsters prefer money transfers or prepaid cards. Never give out personal information to a complete stranger. Be wary of video calls, which can be a disguise for a scammer. These scammers can use recorded video calls to extort money from unsuspecting victims. It’s best to think twice before transferring money from public to private, and be careful not to disclose your financial information to anyone over the phone.