While the term “romance scam” may not evoke images of a romantic relationship, this is a common term used to describe any sham romance. The purpose of a romance scam is to lure a person into sending money. The fraudsters use a variety of tricks to do this, from directly asking for money to building a relationship based on mutual trust. These scams are not uncommon, and are a growing threat.

The victims of a romance scam are usually older than the people who have become the victims. A recent survey of romance scam victims found that the average person lost $9,475 when compared with a median of 2,500 for all age groups. This means that people who have been victimized by a romance scam are more likely to be elderly or single. For these reasons, it’s important to take extra precautions when meeting someone. If you’re not sure if the person you’re corresponding with is a fraudster, get a second opinion from a friend or family member.

As with any form of sham, a genuine romance interest will respect your need to ensure their safety and will give you the time to make sure your new relationship is real. In contrast, a romance scam artist will pressure you into thinking they have found someone and will take your money and run. This is a common tactic for romance scams. A genuine relationship will develop over time, and a scammer will use the pressure to force you to make a decision without being sure.