Romance Scams: Cupid With a Poison Arrow

Cupid With a Poison Arrow

A record number of consumers have reported being victims of romance scams, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In 2022, nearly 70,000 people reported a romance scam; reported losses hit a staggering $1.3 billion. With the increase in romance scams nationwide, Cadence Bank wants to help our customers and teammates protect their money and their hearts.

What is a Romance Scam?

Romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps or contact you through popular social media sites like Instagram or Facebook. The scammers strike up a relationship with you to build up trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day. Then, they make up a story and ask for money.

How a Romance Scam Works

How Romance Scams Work


Signs of a Romance Scammer:

  • They ask for money - Scammers will find a reason to ask you for money — to buy a phone card to keep chatting, maybe to help with emergencies, hospital bills, travel or perhaps something else.
  • They require specific payment methods - They will ask you to give them money via a gift card, transfer, or cryptocurrency.
  • Their online profile seems too good to be true - Romance scammers sometimes build interesting profiles on social media sites and dating apps.
  • They say they’re far away - They might say they can’t meet in person because they’re overseas for business or military service.
  • The relationship is moving fast - Romance scammers profess their love quickly.
  • They break promises to see you - They repeatedly promise to meet you in person but always seem to have an excuse to cancel.

Scammers’ Favorite Lies

Once a scammer gains confidence from a victim, they may make up a story to explain why they have a sudden need for a financial favor. According to the FTC, these were the most common stories made up by scammers:

Fraud Awareness Romance Scams

Reporting a Romance Scam As a Victim

  • If you paid a romance scammer with a gift card, contact the company that issued the card right away. Explain the gift card you paid for was given to a scammer and ask if the money can be refunded.
  • Notify your bank if your personal information was compromised.
  • Change passwords on all your email, social and financial accounts.
  • Report romance scams to dating or social networking sites.
  • File a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
  • Report the scam to the FTC.

Romance scam victims may be reluctant to report the crime because they are embarrassed and humiliated that they were fooled. If you have been the victim of a romance scam, it’s important to take action. The intimate and personal information victims often provide can be used for identity fraud and financial account takeover schemes. Taking action and reporting the scam can help prevent further financial damage and risk.

The best defense is to be proactive and avoid falling for scams in the first place. To help you stay vigilant against romance scams and other risks, please visit the Cadence Bank Fraud and Security Center for resources and tips.



This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.


By: Cadence Bank on Feb 1, 2024

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