ATLANTA—FBI Atlanta is warning residents of an expected surge of Romance/Confidence scams around Valentine’s Day.
In 2022 (the last year numbers are not available), at least 425 Georgians reported falling victim to a romance scam. The Georgia victims lost a combined $10,516,818. Nationally, 19,800 victims lost a combined $735,000,000. And that’s simply those that were reported. FBI Atlanta estimates 2-3x that number of victims never report the crime.
In a confidence/romance scam, victims are lured into thinking they are in a relationship with a friend or romantic partner, then are tricked into sending money, financial information, or personal information to the criminal. They may also be deceived into laundering money.
Romance scammers follow a well-rehearsed script that has worked before, and often view this scam as a full-time job. Special Agents have noted they may wait for months developing the relationship before asking for anything of value.
To avoid becoming a victim:
- Be careful what you post online.
- Use only dating apps with national reputations, but assume scammers are trolling even those websites looking for potential victims.
- Take the relationship slow and ask questions.
- Research the person’s picture and profile to make sure they aren’t using someone else’s profile.
- If you suspect a scam, stop contact immediately.
- Report scams to the FBI at IC3.gov.
Media Release/FBI Atlanta
Public Affairs Specialist Jenna Sellitto