Every website is full of tips on planning inexpensive romantic evenings, looking good for your special date, and coping when you’re single today. Rather than give readers another of the same, we are going to dive back into the research from my novel Chatting as Adalee to reach out to those who may be in serious trouble this Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day can be an especially vulnerable time for anyone communicating with potential romantic partners online. The pressure to have a romantic day today can lead us to overlook red flags we normally would not have ignored. Valentine’s Day also tends to be a “special day” for romance scammers, as they have an opportunity to send gifts, make romantic promises, or offer poetry, stories, or songs than can further cloud their target’s judgment.
For all those who may be seeking or falling in love online today, and their (non romantic) loved ones who may be worried about them, let’s take a look at the top ten most asked questions about romance scams.
9. Are they going to use the pictures, chat dialogue, or other information I gave them to get revenge on me or to scam others?
We can't promise anything, but scammers almost never make good on threats to post revealing photos or dialogue to porn sites, send them to employers, etc. This would draw unwanted attention to the scammer and cut into the time they want to devote to gathering and working on new victims. Scammers are in it for their own goals.
Most scammers do collect photos and other materials to use in future scams, and some of that does come from past victims. However, with all the sources for pictures, dialogue, and other details available around the internet, the odds are very slim that your materials are the ones that are going to be selected.
10. Don't you have to be pretty naïve to fall for a romance scam?
Scammers will certainly use a naïve person's eagerness to trust others against them, but they are also ready and willing to exploit cynicism, paranoia, and any other trait they can manipulate to get their way.
Look for more information about romance scams on Artist Cafe Utica. We hope this information caused you to pause and think about any online romance you or a family member may be involved in this Valentine’s Day. Stay safe.