AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - As you’re feeling the love for Valentine’s Day, you may still need to watch out for online romance scams.
While dating sites have seen an increase of activity around this time, many sites can be ran by frauds who use affection to manipulate people.
In a press release, the Better Business Bureau serving the Texas Panhandle said people who are looking for love may be scammed out of their money.
The BBB said online romance scams rise as scammers can turn their victims into fraud accomplices, which is known as “money mules.”
Money mules are the financial middlemen in scams, who may launder money from other victims by receiving money or goods with stolen credit cards and sending them on to the frauds, who are often from out of the country.
This can happen when the victim has no money or has already given all of their money to the scammer.
The victim may be willing to find a way to give more money to the one showing them affection online.
The BBB said victims may also be led by motives of love, fear or financial compensation for their own losses.
This could take a turn for the worst because the victim who initially believed they had a loving, romantic relationship and are now committing crime.
While dating online, follow these tips:
- Be cautious when dating online and let friends and family know what you are doing or who you are talking to.
- Beware of if the person you are talking to asks for money. If someone asks for information like your credit card, bank or government ID numbers, don’t give it to them.
- Be cautious if the person you are talking to asks you to leave the dating site in order to continue the conversation through email or another platform. Scammers may carryout their crime without the dating site having record.
- Be cautious if someone claims to be from the area but is currently out of the country because frauds could be from overseas.
If it’s too late and you’ve been scammed, you can report the fraud here.