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CyberSmart Series: June 2024

Hello HCN customers,

Welcome back to the latest edition of the CyberSmart Series, our dedicated effort at HCN Bank to keep you informed and protected in the evolving landscape of security and technology. This edition highlights a rising threat in the digital realm that has been affecting banking clients, including those at HCN Bank.

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Romance ("Sweetheart") Scams: A Growing Concern

Romance scams are a form of fraud where scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and social media platforms to deceive victims into forming romantic relationships and ultimately trick them into sending money or personal information.

Here's What You Need to Know:

• Long-Term Deception: Romance scammers often spend weeks or even months building a relationship with their victims before making requests for money.

• Unavailable for In-Person Meetings: They usually claim to have professions that make them unavailable for in-person meetings, such as being in the military or working overseas.

• Emotional Manipulation: Common tactics include asking for money to deal with an emergency, pay for travel expenses to visit the victim, or cover medical expenses.

• Disappearance After Payment: Once the scammers receive the money, they often disappear, leaving the victim with financial loss and emotional distress.

Our Recommendations:

• Be Cautious with Online Relationships: Take your time to get to know someone online. Be wary of anyone who professes love quickly or seems too good to be true.

• Never Send Money/Gifts to Someone you Haven’t Met: Avoid sending money or gifts to someone you haven’t met in person. Requests for money for emergencies, travel, or medical expenses are common red flags.

• Verify Their Identity: Use video calls to verify the person's identity. Be skeptical if they avoid video calls or in-person meetings.

• Be Skeptical of Sob Stories: Scammers often use emotional stories to exploit your sympathy and gain your trust. Be cautious of anyone who shares elaborate stories of hardship.

• Report Suspicious Activity: If you believe you are being targeted by a romance scam, report it to the dating site or social media platform and to authorities such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

We hope these insights help safeguard you and your loved ones against Romance Scams. By following these recommendations, you can significantly lower your chances of becoming a victim.

Stay tuned for more updates and tips in our CyberSmart Series. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.


Mickey McGuire
Executive Vice President | Chief Information Officer / Director of Bank Operations
3715 Sunnyside Dr. | Riverside, CA 92506
P: (951) 248-2010 | E:

About HCN Bank:

HCN Bank is a full-service community bank that has been serving the Hemet community since 1974. With a commitment to personalized service, innovative solutions, and strong community relationships, HCN Bank offers a comprehensive range of financial services to individuals, businesses, and organizations.

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