Romance Scams

A ROMANCE SCAM is when someone gains your confidence to obtain legal or financial benefits.

Learn how to recognize, report and recover from a romance scam.



Are they who they say they are?



Are you looking for the right places to report?



Are you ready to start your recovery?



Are you ready to take small steps to secure your online life?


Recognize a Romance Scam

Warning Signs:

  • You meet someone online and after just a few contacts or a short time, they profess their love or strong feelings for you.
  • They ask you to start communicating by text or personal email, away from the original site you met on.
  • Their profile you read on the site might not match everything they tell you.
  • Run a Google search of the name, address, or any additional contact information the individual has posted to his or her profile.
  • After gaining your trust, they start telling you stories of bad luck or medical illnesses.
  • They indirectly or directly ask for money, gift cards, or funds to pay credit cards. Has an online love interest asked you for money?
  • Their messages are poorly written, inconsistent, or sometimes vague.
  • They offer various excuses for why they can’t show you more photos of themselves. Learn how to reverse image search to identify an individual.
  • They delay meeting in person or talking with you on a video chat.
  • When you do agree to meet, they cancel or postpone due to some emergency.


Report a Romance Scam

Reporting a Romance scam is important. We recommend that you report to the IC3, any dating /social networking site where communication took place, and any of your financial institutions that may have been involved.

More reports could mean a better chance of catching the criminal. Although the FBI does not resolve individual complaints directly, they will make your report available to local, state and other law enforcement partners. Learn the FAQs about reporting and read the FBI/IC3 privacy policy.

Report the Scam to the Dating / Social Networking Site

Contact your banking institution or the money service company you may have used and report the fraud.


Recover from a Romance Scam

Take the following steps to begin recovery

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Reinforce your Cybersecurity

Once you have notified the appropriate organizations and you are on the road to recovery, it is time to reinforce your cybersecurity, using these resources and tools.

Contact Credit Reporting Agencies to Monitor Your Accounts: