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In the past two decades, the global advancements in technology have truly changed the way the world works. With computers in our pockets, electric cars on the road, and virtual everything, the times are changing, and the scams tactics are too. 

One of the most common scams we see within financial institutions is notoriously called “The Romance Scam” or more commonly known as catfishing. Catfishing is defined as when someone creates a fake online profile pretending to be someone they’re not to take advantage of someone else. This can occur on dating apps, dating websites, and social media platforms and unfortunately, it happens quite often. Before you get your heart broken by the romance scammers, here are a few warning signs to be aware of when meeting someone new online: 

1. They tell you a sob story about how they can’t pay their bills, their mom has cancer, they can’t afford to buy their son school supplies, etc. 

As much as your heart aches for those who truly are going through these things, scammers tell these lies to convince you to send them money. They’re typically pushy after you’ve told them no, so remember to stand firm. A genuine, real person will respect your boundaries. A scammer will not. 

2. They confess their feelings for you very early on.

Another tactic used to get people emotionally hooked. Sadly, they target people who appear single and are interested in a long term relationship. Once they have you believing they’re committed and in love, they feel as if they can convince you of anything, including 10k. 

3. They aren’t willing to video chat with you, or something “comes up” every time they say they will. 

This is a telltale sign that someone is not who they say they are. Side note- if someone you’d like to date isn’t making time for a simple video chat, you deserve better.

4. They ask for you to send them gift cards. 

Oftentimes scammers will ask for gift cards because they’re almost impossible to trace. This also isn’t just a red flag for the romance scam, but all scams. Suspicious emails and giveaways included.

5. They only use Venmo, CashApp or ApplePay. 

Sending someone you’ve never met before money through an app is a great way to give them access to your bank account. Once they connect with your Venmo, CashApp or any other money transfer app, they have the ability to hack your account. Do not send money to anyone you do not personally know and trust through these apps! 

Don’t get me wrong, Farmers Only does work for some, and not everyone on there is a scammer. However, when you are looking for love online, use caution and stay protective of your finances.