Submitted by Jon Freeman

Valentine’s Day may have already passed us by this year, but people can fall in love year round. When it comes to love and romance remember to guard your wallet as well as your heart – and be aware of romance scams. A romance scam is when a new love interest says they love you, but they really just love your money; and they may not really be who they say they are. The Federal Trade Commission says: “Romance scammers focus on single people, often older adults who might be more trusting. Widows and widowers, LGBT elders, and isolated single adults are common targets, but scammers look for anyone eager for a new relationship. Romance scams can happen in person, but often happen online through social media or dating websites and smartphone apps.” According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the following are warning signs of a romance scam: 1. A new love who lives far away asks you to wire them money or share your credit card number with them — even if they say they’ll pay you back. 2. Your new romantic interest asks you to sign a document that would give them control of your finances or your house. 3. Your new sweetheart asks you to open a new joint account or co-sign a loan with them. 4. Your new darling asks for access to your bank or credit card accounts. For more information on managing your money click on the link to access the GCPL Personal Finance Guide