This recent FBI Bulletin regarding romance fraud sadly calls to our attention those who continue to prey on the vulnerable in our society. This crime, laughable to some, continues because it regrettably works, and works well. According to the Federal Trade Commission, reported romance scams reached a record $304 million in losses in 2020. What’s more, even with recent publicity and warnings from many authoritative public and private sources, it was some 50% higher than 2019.
Popular social media, including dating and “friendship” sites offer many opportunities for these scammers to do their crimes. To help avoid becoming a victim, virtually all law enforcement and anti-fraud organizations typically recommend two actions above all others: 1) do NOT give money or any monetary instrument to a relationship you have never met, and 2) conduct some basic background investigation or due diligence to confirm the romantic partner’s bona fides (identity, location, occupation, etc.).
While there are a number of federal law enforcement agencies to respond to a fraud ex post facto, other than public warnings and education, they understandably are not in a position to serve as a pro-active “romance police.” While many people are fully capable of conducting their own due diligence, “Private Investigation Services Group LLC, a broad spectrum private investigation firm in Bluffton, SC, has law enforcement, private industry, and social media knowledge, experience, and abilities to quickly respond to those unsure of the necessary steps to do so.
If you are the slightest bit hesitant or suspicious, don’t send money, and don’t hesitate to call PISG!