FBI Salt Lake City Warns of Romance Scams

FBI Salt Lake City Warns of Romance Scams

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SAC Shohini Sinha/FBI Salt Lake City: February is a month for romance.

Trina A. Higgins/ U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah: And what better time to highlight a scam that not only breaks hearts, but bank accounts too. I’m Trina Higgins, the US Attorney for the District of Utah.

Shohini Sinha: And I’m Shohini Sinha, Special Agent in Charge of the Salt Lake City FBI.

Trina A. Higgins: Romance scams are a multi-million-dollar industry.

Shohini Sinha: In 2022 – just here in Utah - 200 victims lost more than 3 and a half million dollars to romance scams.

Trina A. Higgins: Criminals create fake profiles, search dating sites, apps, and social media platforms for potential victims.

Shohini Sinha: They work quickly to build trust only to manipulate victims into sending money or sharing personal information.

Trina A. Higgins: Sadly, seniors and vulnerable adults are often targeted. Many have lost their retirement and life savings.

Shohini Sinha: But working together as law enforcement partners, we’re going after these criminals.

Trina A. Higgins: Last month, the third and final defendant in a romance scam case that cost victims in Utah over 6 million dollars, was sent to federal prison.

Shohini Sinha: So, if you’re looking for love online, here are some red flags to look for: Be careful what you post publicly. Go slowly and ask lots of questions.

Trina A. Higgins: Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches.

Shohini Sinha: And never send money to someone you’ve never met in person.

Trina A. Higgins: If you think you’re a victim of a scam or know someone who is, report it to the FBI.

Shohini Sinha: The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center is at ic3.gov. More resources are on fbi.gov.

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