Scam a loveone online

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Consumers know you shouldn’t send money to anyone you don’t know. But when it comes to love and matters of the heart, sometimes logic is thrown out the window in the latest love scam of trying to get money out of love ones whom you met online.

Around Valentines Western Union see an influx of payments and due to past history know its scam a love one time. This year however Western Union are posting a warning alert due to the increase in dumbfounding and tragic stories of people who have been duped into giving money online.

Western Union stated in the warning for Valentine’s Day: “When dating online, never send a money transfer to someone you have not met in person.”

People lost more than $55 million to romance scams in 2012, with over 4,467 complaints of romantic cyber criminals that year alone and this year is expected to break all records.

In response to the large financial and emotional burden from these scams, Western Union teamed up with Better Business Bureau to try to prevent sob stories this week and offered tips on how to spot a scamming Valentine.

The two groups say to watch for these four warning signs from your online love:

According to IC3, complaints about romance scams tend to come from older people. And declarations of love come very quickly.

“They often claim to love you within 24-48 hours,” the IC3 report states.

Seniors are particularly vulnerable because they may have lost a spouse and are lonely, said Shelley Bernhardt, Western Union’s director of consumer protection, who has been with the firm for 15 years.

“But anybody looking for somebody can fall victim to this scam,” she said.

With the proliferation of dating sites, such as sites for seniors and particular ethnic backgrounds, fraudsters can target victims more easily and move a conversation along.

“People want to find the love and are blinded by that emotion,” Bernhardt said. “They don’t see the red flag. That’s when someone starts asking them for money. It’s great to meet people online but you shouldn’t have to send them money. They think they’re going to meet this person and get married.”

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