Here are a few useful tips on how Illinois consumers can avoid online dating scams that lead to identity theft this Valentine’s Day.

This Valentine’s Day, a lot of Illinois consumers will look for romance online. In fact, for a lot of singles – of all ages – in Illinois, online dating apps are the preferred means for meeting new people. Unfortunately, though, along with that special someone, scammers are out there and waiting to pounce. Knowing that many Illinois consumers are at their most vulnerable while looking for online connections, they take freely-given personal information in order to steal money and commit identity theft. So, while it is certainly okay to look for love in cyber space, caution is necessary. For Illinois consumers concerned about identity theft, the same rules that apply to any other type of online activity apply here. Just don’t share personal information with anyone whom you’re not 100% sure about.

Five Warning Signs for Illinois Consumers Who Want to Avoid Identity Theft While Using Online Dating Apps

Individuals who commit identity theft through online dating apps are the worst. They drain bank accounts, damage credit scores, AND break hearts, so Illinois consumers should avoid them at all costs. Luckily, there are some fairly easy ways to spot scammers on online dating apps. So, if anyone you meet through these channels does any of these things, end your communications with them immediately.

They ask you for money or payment information.

Most consumers in Illinois don’t give money to strangers. Yet, if someone tells you a convincing story, you might bend your normal rules. Don’t. Sadly, a lot of scam artists will try to go through your heart to get to your wallet. So, make sure that you actually know a person – meet them face to face – before giving them money or payment information.

They refuse to meet you in person or have a phone conversation with you.

It’s true that most individuals in Illinois and other U.S. states typically take things slowly with online relationships Yet, eventually, more personalized contact makes sense. For example, if you’ve spent hours exchanging thoughts online, a phone call seems like the next logical step. Therefore, if someone you meet on the internet refuses such an exchange after weeks or months of chatting, be wary.

They repeat themselves, or say things that don’t fit with the conversation.

A telltale sign that you’re dealing with a scammer who might commit identity theft is an obvious lack of attention. Often, online scammers talk to several people at once, and they frequently work from scripts. So, if your new internet flame seems more like a robot than a real person during conversations, you should probably jump ship and find another special someone.

They try to sell you things.

Again, when Illinois consumers think rationally and objectively, they don’t normally purchase random products from random people online. However, experienced online scammers who work dating apps know how to manipulate people. So, if you think you’re starting a meaningful relationship with someone online, and they just want to sell you a timeshare, take a step back. Even if they offer you something “for free,” but require details like your Social Security number or bank account information, stop and think. Your personal data is highly valuable to identity thieves and those who sell information to people who commit identity theft. Don’t let yourself get sweet-talked into becoming the next victim.

They dodge personal questions.

Granted, all relationships are different, but most include a fairly balanced exchange of information. Therefore, if you find that you’re doing all of the talking, and providing all of the personal details, something is likely wrong. Once you come to this realization after a lengthy online exchange with a stranger, cease communication and evaluate your conversations. Then, just to be on the safe side, check your credit reports.

Why All Illinois Consumers Should Protect Themselves Against Identity Theft by Regularly Checking their Credit Reports

Whether you use online dating apps or not, identity theft is a very real threat. In the Equifax data breach alone, more than 4.5 Illinois consumers were negatively affected. Highly sensitive information belonging to these individuals is now exposed to identity thieves. This is why it is absolutely crucial for all Illinois residents to check their credit reports at least once every 12 months.

By checking your credit reports, you can identify suspicious activity, and minimize financial and credit score damage. So, take advantage of the fact that the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) entitles you to free annual credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. Just go to to get copies of your credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian all in one place.

Then, while reviewing your credit reports, if you find fraudulent accounts and bogus transactions, file a police report immediately. You will need a copy of this police report when you start the credit report recovery process after identity theft. Next, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Illinois. Our team of credit pros helps identity theft victims in Illinois every day. We make the recovery process fast and simple, and an experienced credit attorney from our firm will get you clean credit reports – for free – no matter what it takes.

The Free and Legal Way to Get Better Credit After Identity Theft in Illinois

Don’t let identity theft damage on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.

Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (855) 956-2089 or sending him a message through our contact page.

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