Wow! Can you believe it's been a year already? In this month's article, we're going to focus on romance scams. If you've been reading since last year, you'll see this will be our second edition of this particular topic. We said it last year, and we're going to say it this year: You may think to yourself, this would never happen to me. or I'm pretty sure I would not fall for something like that. However, individuals fall for romance scams far too often and don't realize it has happened until it is too late.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding romance scams:
How do I know I am involved in a romance scam?
- Scammers will often reach out via phone, text, email, and social media and create what feels like engaging conversations. They'll claim they have fallen in love with you quickly, and they may even continue talking with you for months at a time.
- Scammers will also not want to meet in person. Especially if you're "in love" with someone abroad, you'll find that each time you want to meet them, there will be a new excuse, emergency, or issue that prevents you from meeting in person.
- Scammers will ask for money, likely in some type of hurry and they'll need you to wire the funds or send an electronic payment quickly.
Who do I report a potential scammer to?
- Call the FBI.
- If you've already sent money out, contact the credit union to see how far in the process it is. In some rare cases we can retrieve the funds back, but in most cases, those who are victims don't notice until its too late.
How do I protect myself from becoming a victim?
- NEVER Give out your social security number.
- NEVER Share your account number.
- NEVER Share your debit or credit card number.
- NEVER Share your passwords with anyone you met online.
- NEVER Share something you feel should not be shared for any reason.
If you are not sure if you're in this type of situation, contact us at 203-755-2030 and discuss today. It's okay if you feel embarrassed. We are here to help you and protect your personal identity as well as your money.
We want to help you stay protected. Do not hesitate to call us for any reason.
James A. Higgins, MBA, CUDE
President and CEO