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OAKLAND — On Valentine’s Day, California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued a consumer alert warning Californians to beware of romance scams. Romance scams occur when a criminal adopts a fake identity to gain a victim’s affection and trust to manipulate or steal their finances or personal information. This usually occurs through various forms of communication including phone calls, text messages, social media and dating sites. Last year alone, romance scams cost nearly 70,000 consumers $1.3 billion. In today’s alert, Attorney General Bonta reminds Californians to exercise caution in their dealings with strangers online.
“All year round, bad actors use the holidays to try and extort Californians out of their hard-earned money,” said Attorney General Bonta. “This Valentine’s Day, learn the signs and always ask for a second opinion to avoid falling victim to romance scams. The bottom line is — if a stranger online asks for money or personal information — it is most likely a scam. I urge you to report any and all romance scams you may encounter and contact your local authorities if you suspect being a victim of one.”
Learn the Warning Signs
You may likely be dealing with a scammer if:
Protect Yourself from Romance Scams:
Attorney General Bonta is committed to protecting Californians from fraudulent individuals. In January, Attorney General Bonta issued a consumer alert warning Californians to beware of fake and unlicensed contractors soliciting their services to individuals affected by damage from the recent winter storms.