NORFOLK, Va. — Valentine's Day: it’s all about Cupid and cuddles for so many couples, but for some singles, the day isn’t as exciting. Some might even set their sights to finding a loved one online, but that’s not always the best place to look for love.
The Better Business Bureau warns in a 2018 report that there are more than a million people in the U.S. who are victims of a romance scam, a scam that targets unsuspecting people looking to find a partner.
Fraudsters don’t tend to be picky, but victims, ages 40-70, are seen most. The common denominator among them is they believe in true love and believe they have found it.
Scammers will start small, isolating the victims from family, even sending small gifts in the mail. They’ll reinforce their love through messages and an overabundance of texts. They may then request small favors in return to find out how susceptible the victim is.
And then the time comes for the fraudster to find themselves in an emergency situation, saying the only person who can help is the loved one they just met online.
The BBB says victims have reported losing over a billion dollars in the last three years to these very scams, and that’s just the victims who’ve come forward.