Last Updated on 2 months by SCARS™ Editorial Team

Anti-Scam FAQ: What Is A Relationship Scam


In the broadest sense, a Relationship Scam is one when there is a relationship between the scammer (or group of scammers) and the victim. This means the scammer(s) are communicating directly with the victim, as opposed to a computer luring or trapping the victim to exploit them.

A Relationship Scam does not depend on just one type of medium or communication type, and in fact, can include email, phone, video & text chat, text messages, and online platforms – it can even be face to face.

Examples of Relationship Scams include:

  • Romance Scams
  • Lotto Scams
  • Tax, Social Security, or other Phone or Email Scams
  • Sextortion or other forms of Blackmail Scams
  • Recommended Investment Scams
  • Grandparent Scams
  • Gift card Scams
  • Gambian-style Marriage Scams (these start as a romance scam and lead to a face to face scam)
  • Charity Scams
  • Police or Investigative Scams
  • Jury Duty Scams
  • Other Financial Fraud & Scams
  • and more …

In all cases, a Relationship Scam will have the victim talking to the scammer(s) directly at some point by whatever means.

Phishing scams and also lead to a Relationship Scam if it is used to connect directly with the victim, instead of just stealing credentials (logging and passwords).

SCARS provides support for Relationship Scam victims!

Scams Are Up 50% In 2020