FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Helena, Montana—With love in the air and the recent FBI warning, the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance (CSI) emphasizes the importance of Montanans to be on the watch for romance scams—or confidence scams—and recognizing the warning signs.
On the rise nationally, romance scams target our neighbors and loved ones of all ages. However, these fraudster cupids often focus on our most vulnerable senior population.
In 2023 the FBI Internet Complaint Center (IC3) identified more than 19,000 victims of romance scams with losses greater than $735 million.
When looking for love or companionship, dating sites, and social media platforms are exciting and seem like good ways to meet people. For the unknowing, these sites can also be a breeding ground for scams.
Don’t get caught seeing red—know the warning signs.
- Reluctant or too busy to meet in person
- Want a long-distance relationship
- Discuss wealth or business success
- Have farfetched stories, with international intrigue or sudden emergency
- Pressure you for money
- Introduce an investment app or website
Avoid getting caught in someone’s love affair with your money – steer clear of conversations about finances and possessions, yours and theirs. Don’t send money to someone you’ve never physically met in person – a video call or chat doesn’t count. With recommended investment websites and apps, these scammers often create a custom online platform to take your money and hide from authorities. Do your research before parting with your hard-earned money.
Always keep your guard up and if you ever question whether something is too good to be true, it probably is. For any questions or if you think you or a loved one have fallen victim to a romance scam, contact the CSI Securities Division at 406.444.3815.
The Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance is the state regulator of the insurance and securities industries for the state of Montana. The State Auditor is also an ex officio member of the Montana Board of Land Commissioners. Troy Downing was elected State Auditor in 2020.
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