General information online dating

For general online safety advice check out our article: How to protect your privacy online.

Millions of Americans use dating sites, social networking sites, and chat rooms to meet people. But scammers also use these sites to meet potential victims.

Some 3,889 online dating-related fraud incidents were reported, resulting in a record loss of £39m.

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“With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we are reminded that this holiday isn’t always chocolate and roses for everyone,” says Eva Velasquez, president of ITRC.

“While sweetheart scammers definitely operate all year long, they are particularly noticeable at a time when everyone wants to celebrate romance.

These scams are a double whammy for the victim because they are affected both fiscally and emotionally.

It’s important to remember to always make financial decisions with your head and not your heart.” The most important thing to do if you’re a victim of a sweetheart scam is to cut off communication with your scammer immediately.

It would be great if these could be generated in an easily printed format.

I work at a credit union - and have member's falling for these types of scams regularly. The man who scammed me money three years ago, contact me again, he said he was sorry and will repay the money to me. My case was reported to police three years ago, but finally closed file by police for further investigation impossible.

The following day the bank told me the check was fake. I was able to contact the supposed sender that lives I Maryland.

He was an elderly man who told me that he and his wife had identity issues and he never heard of the third party bank the check was cut from. I called the sender of the check and told him it cleared but I was keeping the money.

Even though Valentine’s season is one of the key times to be on high alert for possible sweetheart scams, it’s important to realize this is a year-round issue.

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) confirms that they receive calls from people who have been swindled by sweetheart scammers throughout the year.

If you are a victim of blackmail or extortion, keep the evidence - take screenshots and save messages, the police may require it.

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