about two years ago by Doug Jenkins, WBGZ Radio
Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but the Better Business Bureau has tips so you don't fall for online romance scams. Whether you are searching for a partner at a dating site, or are contacted randomly through the various messaging services, you need to keep your guard up for some warning signs, according to an investigator with the agency. Scammers often use these scams to steal large sums of money from their victims. Even if targets realize they have been victims of a scam, BBB Investigator Don O'Brien says the fraud may continue with a new scam pretending to help them get their money back, or the tried-and-true blackmail angle.
The spread of online dating sites and apps has made this fraud even easier to commit. Victims in the US and Canada have reported losing nearly $1 billion over the last three years, and BBB estimates there may be more than a million victims in the U.S. alone. Because most people do not file complaints about romance scams with BBB or law enforcement, this may just be the tip of the iceberg.