5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Online Dating Scams

 

Online is a popular way for meeting new people. But for scammers, it’s a means of finding new victims, warns Victory State Bank.

With this in mind, the financial institution, Staten Island’s only community-based business bank, is calling attention to a notice from the New York State Department of State's Division of Consumer Protection.

The state agency is alerting consumers to exercise caution on Internet dating sites, as you may encounter scammers who are looking to take your money.

According to the Division of Consumer Protection, many of these scammers are from foreign countries but are posing as someone else. They often use pictures from the Internet for their profiles and disguise their voice on the phone. Sometimes these con artists will send small gifts to express deep affection towards to their victims.

Eventually, they request a large sum of money, usually as a loan, to be wired to them for things ranging from business investments, property, debts, and more. Once they receive the money, they usually stop all contact with the victim or sometimes ask for even more until the victim becomes suspicious. Unfortunately, even when victims realize they are being scammed it is very difficult to track down the perpetrator and only a small percentage ever see their money again.

 

The Division of Consumer Protection offers these tips for protecting yourself from online dating scams:

1)      Never loan money to someone, particular overseas, that you have not met.

 

2)      Be cautious of people online who say they are American but are abroad and are trying to get home due to a traumatic life incident, even if it is to come visit you.

 

3)      Do not give out personal information to someone online, especially if you have not met them before.

 

4)      Use trusted online dating sites, but still exercise caution.

 

    5)      Avoid people online who ask for money. They are almost always scammers.

For more information regarding scam prevention and mitigation, please contact the New York Department of State, Division of Consumer Protection at 518-474-8583.

 

 

About Victory State Bank

 

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.VictoryStateBank.com.