Valentine’s Day just around the corner, scam artists are preying on those
looking for love. Better Business Bureau serving Eastern
North Carolina urges consumers to beware of scams when using
online dating Web sites, as scam artists are creating fake profiles in order to
gain the trust of online love interests.
singles and dating Web sites, scam artists are pretending to be people looking
for relationships. They often steal photos from social networking Web sites and
claim to share similar interests with their victims.
online dating industry is continuing to grow, and with Valentine’s Day
approaching, consumers should be especially aware of the potential dangers that
accompany dating sites,” said Toby Barfield, president and CEO of BBB
serving Eastern North Carolina. “Scam
artists are constantly coming up with new ways to trick victims, and are even
going as far as creating phony dating Web sites.”
using the Internet to find love, BBB warns consumers to beware of the following
They are unable to physically meet
artists are unwilling to meet their victims in person, and will only
communicate online or by phone. They often claim that they are unable to meet
due to career or life circumstances that take them overseas.
They share similar interests.
scam artists are charming and sensitive towards their victims, and pretend to
share the same values in order to gain their trust. They are also quick to
develop a relationship and talk of love. Many scam artists send flowers and
gifts that were purchased using stolen credit cards.
There is a sudden emergency.
relationship has been developed, scam artists will claim that there has been an
emergency and they need your assistance. The emergency often involves a family
member’s health, and they ask you to wire money to them because they are unable
to access their account.
If the person you are
in contact with seems suspicious, avoid giving them any personal information.
BBB also recommends doing research beforehand to make sure the dating service
you are using is legitimate.
For additional information on Valentine’s Day
scams, visit bbb.org.