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Romantic couple with the man giving the women a kiss on the cheek.

Tips to Avoid Online Dating Scams

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, romance is in the air. Today, social media networks and dating websites are popular ways to meet and communicate with potential partners. Unfortunately, fraudsters have capitalized on this trend and often create fake profiles to lure in victims, establish romantic relationships and eventually, extort money.

According to the FBI, over $220 million was lost in 2016 to online romance scam artists. Older Americans in particular have been targeted by this type of scam.

While online dating can open doors to loving, happy relationships, more and more criminals are using these platforms to take advantage of unsuspecting users. Approach these relationships with caution so you don’t end up with a broken heart and an empty wallet.

If you’re concerned that you or a loved one are being scammed, take the following precautions:

  • Slow down – and talk to someone you trust. Don’t let a scammer rush you.
  • Never wire money, put money on a gift or cash reloadable card, or send cash to an online love interest. You won’t get it back.
  • Contact your bank right away if you think you’ve sent money to a scammer.
  • Report your experience to:
    • The online dating site
    • FTC
    • FBI

To learn more about online dating scams, view the ABA Foundation and FTC’s infographic.  

 

Source: American Bankers Association