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Looking for love? So are scammers

By Jennifer Hoff, jhoff@wisctv.com
Published On: Feb 13 2014 10:15:23 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. -

Roses are red, violets are blue, 'tis the month of February and love is abloom. But officials with the Better Business Bureau said to heed the warning: not all love is true, for there are dishonest folks in our midst who would gladly take advantage of the warm feelings of affection for a quick buck or two.

“Can you really fall in love with someone after a week over email?” BBB spokeswoman Kimberly Hazen asked.

Forty-one million people are looking for love online. Scammers are also looking for "love" online, and the BBB says they try to create a connection where information and personal details are shared.

Next is the arrangement to meet, but it never happens. They’re suddenly prevented by a traumatic family or business event -- one that your family can overcome.

“People want to be trusting, and they want to open their heart up and that is so ripe for scams,” Hazen said.

BBB recommends you don’t fall for the next sweet talking scammer. Here are some of their tactics:

  • They want to move conversations off the dating site immediately and use personal email or messaging
  • They profess love quickly
  • They claim to be a U.S. citizen working overseas

“Sometimes you have to let go a little bit to meet somebody,” Hazen said. “What we’re saying is let go a little bit, but don’t lose your good common sense.”

Love may be blind but money talks, so be sure to start with a relationship you can trust.

The BBB said there are other things people lie about online -- women fudge their age, body type and weight; men aren’t honest about their height, age and income.

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