There are several ways to spot romance scams. The FBI says that more than $600 million was lost to confidence fraud last year. AARP, the charity that fights against fraud, also says that it is not uncommon for people to fall victim to romance scams. According to Carter, these criminals start out on a dating website. Once they have gained a target’s trust, they’ll switch to a personal messaging app, where they will integrate with their target’s friends and family.

The most common scam is a romance fraud, which is more common than you might think. It can cause empty wallets and broken hearts in its victims. In fact, romance scams are the most common type of fraud. According to the FBI, more than $304 million in money was lost to victims in 2018, up by 50 percent from this year. Many of these losses are from elderly victims who have been swayed by romance scammers.

The FBI reports that nearly 40,000 people will be victimized by romance scams this year. The numbers are staggering and may indicate a wider-scale scam. While the numbers may have risen, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center has also reported a rise in the number of romance scams. These scams can be especially dangerous because the victims often feel ashamed and embarrassed to report them. As long as they’re aware of the dangers, they’ll be safer from this type of fraud.