SHARLENE RAMPERSAD
[email protected]

If you are looking for love during the COVID-19 pandemic, be aware of scammers exploiting lonely social media users.

This warning came from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in a press release yesterday.

The FIU said with the pandemic pushing more people to socialise on social media sites, scammers are now finding easy victims online.

The first step in this heartless scheme, the FIU said, is to make contact with those who appear to be most vulnerable.

Then, scammers will establish a “relationship,” calling, texting and direct messaging their victims to create a bond. All of this will be done without the scammer and the victim ever meeting in person, the release noted.

Once the victim becomes comfortable with them, the scammers will then make requests for money. The FIU said the scammers often say the money will be used to clear packages from courier companies. The victim will be asked to make a bank deposit into an account. Once the money is deposited, it will be withdrawn either through an in-branch transaction or the use of an ATM.