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Romance Scams Escalate Near Valentine’s Day, Are You Safe?

Online romance scams are costing Americans millions of dollars. Some of the more sophisticated scams can drag on for months or years, and leave the victims crushed emotionally and financially. According to federal officials, Americans lost $201 million to online romance scams in 2019, up nearly a 40% since 2018.

Here are some clues to help you recognize a romance scam:

  • They claim to work in the military, or working in some job that has them overseas so that when requests for money to help with visas, it doesn’t seem like an outlandish request.
  • They request money via money transfers or gift cards that can be turned into cash.
  • The relationship moves too fast, declarations of love are made very early and requests for help come almost immediately.

Protect yourself by not revealing too much of your information online, never giving money to someone you haven’t met in person and take online relationships slow. If there are red flags, go with your gut feeling, it’s almost never wrong.

Do you have additional tips to avoid jury scams? Tell us in the comments below. You can also contact us for more information! Feel free to shoot us an email to You can also find us on TwitterFacebook, InstagramLinkedIn, or even connect with us directly on our website!

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About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers’ State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!

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