So many scams are affecting Illinois residents these days that it's tough to keep up with all of them. Especially when scammers are coming up with new and inventive ways to prey on people. But a new romance scam is on the rise in Illinois where predators are using disturbing and scary tactics to deceive people.

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What Is A Romance Scam?

Romance scams are not just for vulnerable people looking for love. These scams have the potential to affect everyone. According to the United States Secret Service, romance scams are usually initiated online since scammers can create fake profiles. Through these fake profiles, scammers attempt to build phony emotional attachments until a potential victim is comfortable sending them money. These scammers have been known to spoof phone numbers and hire actors to communicate with the victims via phone to try and further establish trust. But, they have taken it further with a new tactic.

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New And Disturbing Romance Scam Affects Illinois Residents

A new trend of AI-generated text messages, photos, and even videos of people who look and sound real is scamming people and is on the rise. Illinois residents have recently been scammed out of thousands and according to the Federal Trade Commission, romance scams have claimed more than $1.3 billion from people nationwide. Red flags to look out for with romance scams include:

  • A sense of urgency.
  • A passion for cryptocurrency. Scammers love Bitcoin and other crypto payments.
  • Weird eyes and fingers. AI can do many things, but it still struggles to generate realistic eyeballs and hands - so look closely!
  • A refusal to take video calls. If the person you’re talking to won't Facetime, Zoom, or Skype with you, chances are they're hiding something.

LOOK: The biggest scams today and how you can protect yourself from them

Using data from the BBB Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report, Stacker identified the most common and costly types of scams in 2022.

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Gallery Credit: Steve Shannon

 

 

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