(NAPSI)—If you’ve been you looking for love on dating sites like Tinder, Hinge, or Bumble, there are some things you should know. These platforms (and others) can be great for finding a real connection, but it’s crucial to be aware of the dangers of romance scams.
Scammers often pose as someone else online to gain your trust and affection. Then, they use your relationship to manipulate or steal from you. In 2021 alone, the FBI reported that American victims of romance scams lost nearly $1 billion.
But you don’t have to let that scare you away from finding love online. Here are five tips from the fraud prevention experts at Citi to help keep you safe:
• Keep your personal information private. When getting to know someone online, it’s natural to open up, but be mindful of sharing identifying information that scammers can use against you.
• Communication matters. Use trusted dating apps and websites for conversations and be cautious about sharing your phone number before verifying the relationship.
• Trust your instincts. If your online crush seems too good to be true, they probably are. Also be wary of someone who never wants to video chat or meet in person.
• Watch for inconsistencies. Scammers aren’t perfect and there may be holes in their stories or inconsistencies in their profiles. If something seems off, listen to your head—not your heart.
• Don’t send money or gifts. Never send money or gifts to someone you haven’t met in person. If they’re asking for your feelings and finances, it’s a major red flag.
Following these tips can help get you one step closer to finding genuine love online. For even more advice on how to spot and avoid romance scams, check out http://Citi.com/FraudPrevention.
Editors’ note: While this information is useful to anyone, it can be of particular interest to people in Los Angeles and Washington, DC.