Romance Schemes Targeting Older Adults
What is a Romance Scheme?
Romance Schemes in North Texas
Romance schemes are real.
Officials with the U.S. Attorney's Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas and the FBI recently announced a multi-year investigation into a wide-ranging criminal enterprise operating out of North Texas, where 35 people are now accused of conducting romance schemes to defraud and steal money from older adults. Conspirators would pose as an interested partner, build a level of trust with the victim, and then eventually would share a desperate sob story that always results in needing a large sum of money.
The defendants allegedly preyed on older victims - many of whom were widowed or divorced - and often connected with them through dating sites like Match.com, ChistianMingle, JSwipe, and PlentyofFish.
Investigators said that in many cases the alleged thieves would then siphon thousands of dollars from their victim's bank accounts and would ghost their victim once their savings was depleted.
Tips for Avoiding Romance Scams
Protect yourself and your loved ones by following these FBI-recommended tips for avoiding romance scams:
- Be careful what you post and make public online. Scammers can use details shared on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you.
- Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the image, name, or details have been used elsewhere.
- Go slowly and ask lots of questions.
- Beware if the individual seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or social media site to communicate directly.
- Beware if the individual attempts to isolate you from friends and family or requests inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used to extort you.
- Beware if the individual promises to meet in person but then always comes up with an excuse why he or she can’t. If you haven’t met the person after a few months, for whatever reason, you have good reason to be suspicious.
- Never send money to anyone you have only communicated with online or by phone.
Who We Are
As an active part of the community for 92 years, Neighborhood Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial organization serving the state of Texas with branch locations in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, and Tarrant counties. With assets topping $1 billion, Neighborhood Credit Union has a continuously growing membership of over 60,000. For more information, call (214) 748-9393 or visit our homepage.