Don't Let a Valentine's Day Alone Make You Fall Victim to an Onl - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Don't Let a Valentine's Day Alone Make You Fall Victim to an Online Dating Scam

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Valentine's Day is near and love seems to be on nearly everyone's mind, but experts warn this is the perfect time for scammers to find their next victim in their online dating scheme.

Many people meet online, usually through a dating site, and there may be emails, pictures, phone conversations and even talk of plans to meet. However, the Better Business Bureau is warning individuals who may find themselves in this kind of relationship to stay cautious.

The bureau is sharing some of the warning signs that your relationship could be a "catfishing", or romance scam.

The BBB says online daters should be wary of anyone who asks to talk on an outside email or messaging service. This keeps the dating site from having any record of the encounter and gives scammers the opportunity to play on your emotions.

If the other person says they are from nearby but always finds a reason to not meet, such as a sudden work trip or claims to be in the military and stationed oversees, this could be a sign they are scamming you. Scammers will find all kinds of reason why you can't meet just yet.

According to the Better Business Bureau, a huge red flag is thrown when that person is suddenly asking for money. In some cases, the BBB says, the scammer will claim an emergency like a sick relative or stolen wallet and ask for money. It may not seem like much, but the BBB says those amounts usually grow until eventually the money is gone and so is the relationship.

Lastly, the BBB warns against clicking third-party links in emails from the other person. Those links may contain malware that is designed to steal personal information from the computer.

Find more tips from the BBB by visiting www.nebraska.bbb.org.

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