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Beware of online dating scams around Valentine’s Day

Ads for online dating services focus on the positive – meeting the person of your dreams and developing long-term, satisfying relationships. Unfortunately, scammers also lurk online, looking for vulnerable people who will send them money for travel, health care emergencies, etc.

BBB receives complaints about dating services every year. Many complaints are about billing and collection issues. Poor customer service, refund issues, advertising or sales practices also prompted complaints.

Some consumers are swindled by scammers who pose as an attractive person of the opposite sex. Scammers have taken thousands of dollars from victims by requesting money for travel, health care or other fake emergencies. When the scammers are overseas, it’s extremely difficult for law enforcement or other agencies to make arrests or recover victims’ money.

Here are some tips to spot a romance scam:

Asks to talk or chat on an outside email or messaging service. Oftentimes this allows fraudsters to carry out scams without the dating site having a record of the encounter.

Claims to be from this country but is currently traveling, living or working abroad. Scammers come up with all kinds of excuses why they can’t meet in person.

Asks you for money or credit card information. Scammer will claim an emergency such as a sick relative and ask that you wire the money. Or they may ask for airfare to come for a visit. Once the money is wired, it is gone and is virtually impossible to track.

Please contact the Mid Missouri BBB at or 573-886-8965 with any questions.

Article Topic Follows: News

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