Blindsided, emotionally manipulated, and now broke. Don’t get conned by romance fraud…

Your new online lover conned you into parting with your hard-earned cash, and all you’ve been left with is a broken heart.

In your month of love, it is not at all comfortable to be alerted about romance-involved cybercrimes. February is supposed to be all about romance and love. But whatever your level of uneasiness about the topic is, it is important to take note and be vigilant.

There’s an online love scam doing the rounds, commonly known as Romance Fraud

Carla Oberholzer, debt adviser at DebtSafe, explains that authorities are spreading a word of caution for middle-aged women to be alert and to not fall prey to online fraudsters and opportunists.

“There is nothing wrong in finding love online, but you have to spot fraudulent signs if ever you engage in an online romantic relationship,” highlights Oberholzer.

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DebtSafe has compiled a list of things to consider when entering into or pursuing an online romantic relationship.

Be sure to communicate these tips to your loved ones as well, to not fall victim to cyber fraud and to continue to protect your heart and money:

  • Be aware that not everyone has the same intentions that you do when entering into an online relationship (in your case connecting and finding love via the web)
  • How do you know someone’s intentions are deceitful? Signs include things such as your new online interest avoiding video or phone calls, and not being able to send you selfies or photos
  • A background check about the new online interest can verify that the info you can see or that is shared with you is correct or not
  • When it comes to YOUR privacy information (bank details, financial position and location details), should be protected at all times. It is best to not share too much information about yourself and your doings when interacting with/messaging your new online love connection
  • It is important to be open about your new love interest to your close family members or friends just to ensure extra protection in case your new online love venture takes an unexpected turn
  • You can spot a warning sign when you pick up that the person’s communication and conversations are inconsistent. Remember, online fraudsters usually work together as a group. You may, thus, be talking or communicating with a few different people!
  • A red flag should go up when your ‘familiar-stranger’ starts to communicate to you about their personal crises and that only YOUR money will be able to fix their problems. Online love scammers are known for their familiar modus operandi by manipulating your emotions and not minding to ask for your money or financial support.
  • If you suspect that you are being scammed, rather end all communication immediately. Or, if you have been scammed make sure that you contact the necessary authorities to report the fraud and try to create awareness for other women to not fall into the same trap.
  • Most importantly, if you have, unfortunately, fallen victim to Romance Fraud and accumulated debt because of your sincere heart and longing for love, connect with a reliable source and authorised Debt Management provider. DebtSafe’s trusted team of Debt Experts can assist you (or a loved one) to FIX YOUR DEBT safely and securely.

Keep in mind that looking for love via the internet is not a bad thing. But, be vigilant to not (unknowingly) entertain online romance fraudsters’ methods. You are worthy of affection, but you should not use your hard-earned money to pay for it.