44° F

Looking for love? So are scammers

Published On: Feb 13 2014 10:15:23 PM CST
Valentine's Day card

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.

  • PHOTOS: 27 tons of documents destroyed during BBB Shredfest 2016

    The free BBB Shredfest event Saturday offered anyone with documents containing personal information to shred up to three bags. Destroying documents is one way to protect one's identity and thwart fraudsters.

    More than 1,600 cars stopped by two Madison locations from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, and 27 tons of documents were shredded, a Better Business Bureau representative said. The sites were at SVA Certified Public Accountants, 1221 John Q Hammons Dr. and Warner Park, 2930 N. Sherman Ave.

  • Elise Romas

    PHOTOS: Thousands take part in 34th annual CrazyLegs 2016

    The 34th annual CrazyLegs Classic 8K Run and 2-mile Walk Saturday raised money for UW Athletics. As of Friday night, 13,000 people had signed up to participate, and organizers expected more to register Saturday morning before the race begins in waves at 11 a.m.

    WINNERS: Pat Jenkins, 24, of Cambridge, is the top finisher in the men's category. UW law student Jessa Hackman, 24, of Madison, is the top female finisher.