FBI Memphis
Public Affairs Officer Elizabeth Clement-Webb
February 8, 2024

Beware of Romance Scams: Don’t Let Scammers Break Your Heart and Your Bank Account

MEMPHIS, TN—FBI Memphis is warning Tennesseans to be cautious of potential romance scams, also called confidence fraud, ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Romance scammers promise love, passion, and a lifetime of happiness, but in reality, they are looking for victims to rob of their savings. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported that 331 Tennesseans lost a combined $8,892,488 in 2022 (2023 numbers have not been reported yet) to romance scams. Nationally, 19,021 victims lost a combined $735,882,192. And that’s simply those that were reported.

“Romance scams are prevalent, especially during this time of year, and the consequences are often financially and emotionally devastating to victims,” said Special Agent in Charge Douglas DePodesta of the FBI Memphis Field Office.

Scammers take advantage of people looking for companionship or romantic partners on dating websites, apps, chat rooms, and social networking sites with the sole goal of obtaining access to their financial or personal identifying information.

To avoid becoming a victim:

  • Be careful what you post online.
  • Use only dating apps with national reputations, but assume scammers are trolling even those websites looking for potential victims.
  • Research the individual’s pictures and profile using other online search tools to ensure someone else’s profile was not spoofed.
  • If you suspect a scam, stop contact immediately.
  • Report scams to the FBI at IC3.gov.