Other ways to search: Events Calendar | UTHSC

Cybersecurity Scam of the Week – Romance Scams


Since Sunday is Valentine’s Day, let’s look at the romance scams and cost associated with falling for them. These types of scams cost people over $201M in 2019, one of the highest personalize scams out there.

Lots of us have profiles on online dating sites, apps or social media to find “the one.” But that interesting person who just messaged you could be a sweet-talking romance scammer trying to trick you into sending money.

Reports of romance scams are growing, and costing people a lot of cash. According to FTC data, the number of romance scams people report to the FTC has nearly tripled since 2015. With some many online profiles, romance scammers can be hard to detect. There are signs you can look out for.

Romance scammers start by using someone else’s identity to create fake profiles. They’ll send you flattering messages to make a special connection, say all the right things, and gain your trust. They might claim to be a doctor, a servicemember, or an oil rig worker living overseas. They want to make future plans with you. But then, something comes up and they ask you for money to help them out. Which nearly always means asking you to buy gift cards or wire them money.

What do you do?  NEVER send money to someone you haven’t actually met. Stop communicating with that person immediately and report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) who has more information on their webpage.

Also reported to abuse@uthsc.edu this past week:

  • [Ext] Email Request for Ticket – an email looking like it came from a help desk, saying the account would be blocked unless you reply back to the email with your password
  • [Ext] Work study position!! – scam looking to gather personal information
  • [Ext] Hello – phishing attempt to start a conversation
  • [Ext] Invoice#15433 – wanting payment for a “past-due invoice”

Keep reporting suspicious emails to abuse@uthsc.edu for examination and any other inquiries for the Office of Cybersecurity should be directed to itsecurity@uthsc.edu.