RALEIGH, N.C.(WNCN) – The Federal Trade Commission says romance scams have increased by six times since 2015, reaching a record $304 million lost in 2020.
It’s a 50 percent increase from 2019, according to the FTC.
In North Carolina, information from the Internet Crime Complaint Center found 558 residents fell for romance scams costing them $14,446,583.
The losses made it number eight state for romance scams.
SocialCatfish.com said the holidays can make people feel more alone making them more susceptible to romance scams.
They called this a peak season scammers. With more people stuck at home during the pandemic, scammers have had an even larger pool of potential victims.
So how you do know if you’re being scammed? SocialCatfish.com offers the following red flags
- The person makes excuses for not wanting to meet in person or not video chatting.
- They want to move the conversation to messaging apps or platforms like WhatsApp or Google Hangouts.
- Bad grammar or spelling especially if they claim to be highly educated.
- Showers you with love early on or moves too quickly
- Asks for financial help due to an emergency. OR they ask for your bank information so they can deposit funds into your account
The biggest tips to avoiding being scammed are to avoid giving out money or personal information. You may also consider a reverse search to verify you’re talking to someone real.