Consultation Services for Victims of Romance Scams

Victims of Romance Scams

Unfortunately, Romance scams have become exceedingly popular due to the prevalence of social media. Anyone can get to know anyone else, which is usually good, but this has also led to the rise of romance scams.

Romance scams involve any type of scam designed to build trust with a victim. This includes everything from catfishing to pig butchering, which all use romantic interactions to manipulate the victim into sending money.

You might start talking to someone on Instagram, only to find out over the coming months that you’ve been a victim of one of the many Instagram romance scams.

So, keep reading to learn more about identifying romance scams and what you can do if you’re a victim.


What Are Online Romance Scams?

You’ve likely heard of conmen, with the “con” being short for confidence. The goal is to gain the victim’s trust through confidence and then scam them out of money.

Romance scams are a type of confidence scam. Someone will show interest in you through social media, and the scam begins. Every scam will look a little different, but here’s an example of what it might look like:

  1. Someone DMs you or sets up an appealing profile and waits for you to DM them.
  2. You start talking casually about anything. 
  3. You might think you’re talking to someone interesting and attractive, then suddenly they’re having a life emergency and ask you for money. 
  4. You send them some crypto and maybe never hear from them again. They’ll block you on social media, and that’s the end of it.
  5. Alternatively, they might keep talking to you and occasionally ask for more money. 
  6. You’ll never meet them or talk to them other than texting. Once you press to have a video call or meet in person, that’s likely when they’ll disappear.

It’s also worth highlighting that these scams are not exclusively on social media. They can happen on messaging and chat apps like WhatsApp, Discord, and Telegram.


Red Flags of Romantic Scams 

How do you know if you’re talking to someone who genuinely has feelings for you or is carrying out a romance scam? There are a few red flags you can stay aware of, such as:

  • Unable to meet in person: Regardless of what they may say or promise, you’ll never meet them in person. Scammers often say they aren’t local, but even if you offer to go visit them, they may still make up reasons why they can’t meet.
  • Confess their love early on: Most real relationships don’t go straight for “I love you,” but a scammer usually will. They’ll say there is something special about you, and they’ve fallen for you. It’s flattering, and you’ll want to believe it, but that’s precisely why it works.
  • A sudden or ongoing crisis: Once they think you have feelings for them, a random crisis will happen, and they’ll ask you for money. Anything under the sun is possible, like car problems with expensive repairs or a family member having medical issues.
  • Might ask you to invest: Alternatively, instead of a crisis, they may try to coerce you into investing in something, like an insider tip you can’t lose. Sometimes, they’ll send you a link to a website to invest; if you do, you’ll never see those funds again.


Tips for Avoiding Romance Scams

Being aware of the above red flags will go far in helping you avoid being a victim of a romance scam. Let’s follow those up with a few tips to go even further in keeping you safe online.

Research Anyone You Start Talking To

Regardless if you DM them or they DM you, research every aspect of their profile. This tip is even one of the main FBI tips to avoid romance scams — try to verify that they’re a real person.

You can reverse search the person’s photos, look up their name, and check on their stated workplace. Anything they’ve made available to you is worth investigating before you start falling for someone.

Additionally, ask plenty of questions to find out more about them than publicly available. You can research their answers and discover an accidental lie; then, you can back away before you lose any money.

Be Careful with Public Posts

Preventing romance scams isn’t all about the scammer — it’s also about what you make public. Scammers will often research all your social media accounts before reaching out to them (or once you reach out to them).

From there, scammers will pretend to have the same interest as you or try to appear like someone they think you’d be attracted to. It all depends on what they learn.

Keeping your personal life private on social media helps guard against what they can learn about you. Privacy also protects you from many other types of scams, so limiting who can see any personal information is well worth limiting.

Never Send Money if You’ve Never Met Them

Another FBI tip is to set a firm rule not to send money to someone you’ve never met. It doesn’t matter if they’ve asked for $10 or $1,000; make it a firm rule never to give people money if you haven’t met them in person.

It’s pretty common for romance scams to start small and work their way up to larger amounts. They didn’t disappear at $10, so they seem more trustworthy. Avoid this tactic all altogether by refusing to send money.

This can be a hard rule to keep if you start to have feelings for someone and they say they’re in some type of trouble. They’ll play on your empathy to try to overwhelm your resistance to sending them cash. Hold strong until you’ve met them in the real world.


The Importance of Consultation Services for Victims of Romance Scams

If you’ve been scammed, a romance scam consultation service can help you understand all available options for recovering stolen funds.

Your exact situation will likely be unique, which is why being aware of the limitations of these services is essential. Some may not have the capability to recover crypto, while services such as Lionsgate have the expertise to handle crypto-related transactions.

The Scope of Consultation Services

Understanding the scope of any consultation service is vital before you get started. What can a consultation service do? Romance scams can vary in complexity and damage done, so a consultation service might not be able to recover every lost penny.

However, many of the financial transactions can be traced back to the scammer. Even though newer romantic scams can be surprisingly sophisticated, so are the new tools available to track down the scammer.

In the case of crypto romance scams, you can find a service capable of tracking crypto transactions throughout the blockchain. Ideally, the resolution is connecting those transactions to a real-world legal identity and then taking legal action to recover your crypto.

However, before you proceed with any consultation services, it’s essential to understand their scope, what they might be able to resolve, and if it’s worth your time to try to recover stolen funds.


Partner with Lionsgate to Recover Cryptocurrency Lost to a Romance Scam

Modern romance scams often involve cryptocurrency because transactions are irreversible, and they provide pseudo-anonymity. However, these transactions are not completely anonymous, which creates an opportunity to track down the scammers and reclaim crypto with legal action.

Lionsgate is a leader in reclaiming stolen cryptocurrency, whether lost to a romance scam or cybersecurity incident. Do you need to reclaim stolen funds? Reach out to us today for a free consultation to see if we can help.

If you’ve been affected by a crypto scam, you are entitled to a case evaluation.

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