Valentine’s Day is coming up soon, which means scammers will be playing on the emotions of unsuspecting consumers. Because there are few emotions stronger than falling in love, romance scams are especially profitable.
Romance scams accounted for more than $80 million in losses in 2013, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Scammers use dating sites to find their targets. They send messages – usually to women – wooing them into new relationships. The criminals pretend to be working abroad or serving in the military overseas. After exchanging a message or two through the site, the scammer requests communication through email or a chat service. He then befriends the women on Facebook, using a fake profile.