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Romance Scams

MGN Online

Online dating and social media have made it easier than ever to meet new people and find potential dates. Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of this. Con artists create backstories, and identities, then trick you into falling for someone who doesn’t even exist. This form of deception is known as “catfishing.”

"Romance scams" typically start with fake profiles on dating sites. Over time the scammer builds a fake relationship with you and just when things seem to get serious, they end up asking you for money.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, there were over 14,000 romance scam reports to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2016. This is more than triple the nearly 4,500 reports made just a few years back in 2012.

Miguel Segura, with the Better Business Bureau, says there are some red flags you should look out for:

• Pressure to leave the dating site.

• Hasty expressions of love.

• Change of plans.

• Requests for money.

For more information, watch the clip above.

If you come across any suspicious activity or are a victim of a romance scam, file a Scam Tracker report at bbb.org/scamtracker and the FBI at ic3.gov.

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