Romance Scams

Sign the Petition

Sign this petition and stand with the AARP Fraud Watch Network so we can pressure online dating sites to help stop scammers from stealing hearts and hard-earned money.



No one loves romance scams. Act now to prevent them.

According to the FBI, Americans lost $82 million to online dating fraud in just the last six months of 2014. Dating sites aren't doing enough to protect their members from known scammers. Let's urge them to take commonsense steps to fight back against criminals who are stealing hearts and bank accounts.

We'll be delivering the petitions to the top online dating websites – Match.com, eHarmony, Plenty of Fish, Zoosk, OK Cupid, SeniorPeopleMeet and Our Time – urging them to do more to keep these heartless criminals off their sites and educate their users on how to spot and avoid romance scammers and what to do if they are victimized.

Dating sites need to:

  • Crack down on scammers by identifying and shutting down the accounts of those who pay with stolen credit cards, checking IP addresses to verify profiles' listed locations; employing algorithms to detect suspicious language patterns used by scammers; and using image searches to identify fake profiles used across various dating websites.
  • 5 Tips to Avoid Online Dating Scams

    • Adopt an air of mystery. Don't provide your last name, your address or where you work until you've actually met -- and be wary of suitors who ask for any of this personal information too quickly.
    • Prevent cyber romance tracking. If you're using a mobile app, turn off your location settings so cons can't figure out where you're located.
    • Check photos Many scammers perpetrate their crime by stealing people's photos and assuming their identities. Before you engage with anyone on a dating site, use Google's "search by image" feature to see if that person's image shows up in other places using a different name.
    • Verify that the person is real. Do an online search to see if the things you read match up with his/her claims. Is what you read on the person's Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn pages consistent with what you're being told?
    • Use search engines to check out suitors. If you get a suspicious email, check it out. Cut and paste the e-mail into Google and see if the words pop up on any romance scam sites.
  • Issue early warning alerts to any member who's been in contact with someone using a fake profile.
  • Educate members with tips on how to spot and avoid romance scammers — and provide resources and contact information for those who've been victimized.

5 Tips to Avoid Online Dating Scams

  • Adopt an air of mystery. Don't provide your last name, your address or where you work until you've actually met -- and be wary of suitors who ask for any of this personal information too quickly.
  • Prevent cyber romance tracking. If you're using a mobile app, turn off your location settings so cons can't figure out where you're located.
  • Check photos Many scammers perpetrate their crime by stealing people's photos and assuming their identities. Before you engage with anyone on a dating site, use Google's "search by image" feature to see if that person's image shows up in other places using a different name.
  • Verify that the person is real. Do an online search to see if the things you read match up with his/her claims. Is what you read on the person's Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn pages consistent with what you're being told?
  • Use search engines to check out suitors. If you get a suspicious email, check it out. Cut and paste the e-mail into Google and see if the words pop up on any romance scam sites.

10 ways you can spot a romance scammer.

Watch out if you "meet" someone who:

  1. wants to leave the dating site immediately and use personal email or instant messaging to communicate with you
  2. makes several spelling and grammar mistakes when communicating
  3. sends a personal photo that looks like something from a glamour magazine
  4. professes love too quickly
  5. claims to be from the U.S., but is traveling or working overseas
  6. makes excuses about not being able to speak by phone
  7. plans to visit, but cancels at the last minute because of a traumatic event or a business deal gone sour
  8. asks for money for a variety of reasons (travel, medical emergencies, hotel bills, hospitals bills for child or other relative, visas or other official documents, losses from a financial setback)
  9. requests you to wire money or to cash a check or money order and send money back or to a third person; and
  10. makes several, ongoing requests for more money.