Recently, members of our community have fallen victim to an abundance of online scammers who seek to infiltrate the lives of citizens under the guise of romance. These scammers use that which is most vulnerable in all of us to get into our wallets — our hearts.
To protect oneself from these online predators it’s important to be wary of anyone unknown that makes online contact. This can be through any form of social media like Facebook or an online forum.
One of the clues at identifying an online predator is by their tactic of pressuring their victims for personal information without revealing much of their own. If this person asks for information like addresses or additional phone numbers out of the blue, it may be a sign of an online predator. If the person refuses to present a picture of themselves or provide any type of information that could confirm their identity, then they may be one of these would-be scammers. The biggest red flag of all is a random plea for money.
This can be done in deceptive ways. The predator could pretend to say he or she is saving up money for a romantic visit or even proclaiming to need money for a sick loved one. Do not believe them.
Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Sgt. Robert Murphy says other ways to identify these romantic tricksters is by reviewing their grammar and spelling. Often these predators are from outside the US and will use words such as ‘colour,’ barrister, solicitor and U.S. dollars. To report a scam, call the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office at (830)-379-2123.
Remain vigilant, and be safe.