As Valentine's Day approaches, love is in the air, and many individuals find themselves eager to connect with someone special. Unfortunately, amid the excitement and anticipation, there's a darker side to romance that preys on unsuspecting hearts – romance scams. Seniors, those over 60 are often isolated and lonely and are particularly vulnerable to this type of fraud, but anyone can become a victim.
Romance scams, also called confidence fraud, are one of the most common and costly forms of fraud schemes seen in the U.S. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), nearly 70,000 people reported a romance scam in 2022 and reported losses hit a staggering $1.3 billion. Often, those figures include the victim’s entire life savings. Many of these crimes go unreported due to victim shame and embarrassment, so the total dollars lost is most likely much higher. The 2023 figures have not yet been released, but they are looking to continue the upward trend.