Beware of Valentine's Day scams - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Beware of Valentine's Day scams

GREAT FALLS -

Many are seeking love on Valentine's Day, but if you're not careful you may end up finding yourself caught up in a romance scam.

According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers sometimes pretend to be love interests and play on emotion for financial gain. Last year, scammers stole an estimated $1 billion from the people who were looking for love. Experts say there are real accounts for people out there really seeking love, just make sure to use caution and look for red flags, especially on dating websites.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it caught six men from Nigeria and South Africa conning Americans out of millions of dollars by using dating scam tactics.

Dan Buchta of the BBB said if the person on the dating site quickly expresses strong emotions and asks to move the conversation off the dating website on to email correspondence or text, that might be a red flag. Scammers sometimes spend months building up trust with someone before ripping them off, according to Scamwatch.org. The biggest red flag is if someone asks you for money after approaching you on a dating site; they may claim that it's for a family emergency or illness, but it's a good idea to keep your guard up if this isn't someone you actually know in person. Scammers may also ask you to accept a valuable package and mail it somewhere else, but that might be a way to use you to cover up for criminal activity.


 

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