The United States Secret Service is warning about "expert manipulators."

United States Secret Service is warning that romance scams are on the rise, yes the United States Secret Service, I was just as surprised as you to see this press release!

United States Secret Service: Avoid Romance Scams


A romance scam is when a criminal lies about their identity and feigns romantic interest to steal from victims.

These days, romance scams typically happen on your phone or computer. Scammers try to prey on vulnerable people, officials say.

These scammers create fake online profiles and attempt to build "phony emotional attachments" until a potential victim is comfortable sending them money," the Secret Service warns.


For all the news that the Hudson Valley is sharing make sure to follow Hudson Valley Post on Facebook, download the Hudson Valley Post Mobile

"Victims can be both men and women. Many times, the criminal targets older people and those who may be struggling in a relationship and/or are emotionally vulnerable. Though most criminals aim for vulnerable targets, affluent and well-educated individuals have also fallen victim to these type of scams. In general, these scams have the potential to affect everyone," the Secret Service states.

Tips To Avoid Romance Scams In New York State

Read More: New Year Brings 2 New Holidays To New York State

Criminal Research You

Criminals do extensive research on potential victims and are "expert manipulators," officials say.

Criminal wearing black balaclava and hoodie in the dark

Sad News: These 11 Popular Food Items Are Gone From New York State Stores

"They are expert manipulators and use these open, personal posts against the victim, cultivating them over a long period of time. Victims feel there is a real connection, romantic interest, and become invested in the online relationship. The internet provides anonymity, allowing criminals unlimited time trolling for potential victims hoping someone will take the bait," Secret Service warns.

Don't get fooled: Here's 24 scam texts I received in just one month

Although some may be humorous, others appear legit. Here are 24 texts I received in just one month's time, as well as one I'm surprised I never got.

Spam texts are listed in the same order that was received.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

Missing: 20 Kids Disappear From New York State Around Holidays

Giant Horror Plant

A "giant horror plant" that can cause blindness and severe burns is still in New York State, despite the best efforts from New York officials.

The 10 Best Counties To Live In New York State

Is your hometown's county considered by Niche one of the best in New York State?

More From Hudson Valley Post