Valentine’s Day is almost here and residents looking for love should be on the lookout for online scams.
Many people turn to online dating and social networking to meet someone special.
Looking at this as an opportunity, scammers are taking advantage of an increasing number of people.
The FNB Community Bank reports romance scams in 2019 led to victims losing a reported $200 million.
Bank officials indicated there have been numerous cases in recent years of people believing they have met the perfect person online, only to find out they are not real.
John Goldsmith, The FNB’s marketing director, said the cyber-criminals create fake profiles on dating sites, look for a target, then over time gain the person’s trust.
He said once the scammer has hooked the other person emotionally, then they go after them financially.
The Federal Trade Commission advises to never send money or gifts to someone you haven’t met. Do some research on the person met on a dating site, and if you are concerned about the online person, discuss those concerns with a trusted friend or family member.
If you think you’ve been a victim of an online romance scam, contact law enforcement and your bank immediately.