As Valentine’s Day approaches, the Federal Trade Commission is issuing a warning about online dating scammers targeting your hard-earned money.
Millions of Americans use online dating websites, social media, and chat rooms to meet people, but scammers also use the sites to find their potential victims.
Typically, the scammer creates a fake profile to form a relationship with you, only to convince you to send money in the name of love.
The FTC considers this an “imposter scam” where someone pretends to be someone you trust in the hopes of getting your money.
Warning signs your "love" isn't legit
If your sweetheart:
- Wants to leave the dating site immediately and use personal email or IM
- Claims love in a heartbeat
- Claims to be from the U.S., but is traveling or working overseas
- Plans to visit, but is prevented by a traumatic event or a business deal gone sour
How to avoid falling victim
Don't wire money to cover:
- Medical emergencies
- Hotel bills
- Hospital bills for a child or other relative
- Visas or other official documents
- Or losses from a temporary financial setback
Report relationship scams to: