You don’t need to move the conversation somewhere else
Criminals will try to move the conversation to a different place, such as by asking you to chat by text. There is no good reason for this and it is not necessary until you’re sure that you know the person is real.
Profile pictures – check whether they’re real
Romance fraudsters tend to use photographs taken from the internet. You can quickly check photos using a reverse-image search on websites like www.tineye.com or reverse.photos. These websites will check whether the photos have appeared anywhere else using different names or impersonating someone else.
Do your own research on the person
Is this person on other social networking sites? Can you confirm that what they are telling you about themselves seems correct, e.g. where they work or where they live? We all leave a digital footprint when interacting on the internet, if a person you're conversing with only exists on one platform then it's likely they are not real.
Are you sending them money?
Never send money to someone you have not met in person or do not have a way of getting the money back if something falls through. Be extremely wary of giving money to someone you have recently met, particularly if you have only recently started a relationship with them.
Are you receiving money?
Be very wary of anyone you who wants to send you money and who wants it transferring to someone else. They may be using you to launder money.
Talk to family and friends for advice
Criminals will try to convince their victims that a relationship should be a secret. This is because they don’t want other people noticing their friend or relative is being scammed.
Last updated February 2023