(WHTM) — For many, romance means dinner, roses and chocolates with your significant other. For others, romance might be a prime reason to fall victim to what’s called a “sweetheart scam.”
A sweetheart scam is when a person uses a false identity and fake photos to lure another person into an online, often long-distance relationship.
Once trust is built, the scammer convinces the person into sending money, often via wire payments or by sending cash. Their reason for asking money is typically related to an illness in the family or an emergency that requires them to purchase a plane ticket.
To prevent yourself from falling victim to one of these scams, look for the following warning signs:
- Continuous refusal to meet in person
- Claims of being in love quickly
- A demand that the relationship be kept a secret
- Request for money or gift cards
You should never send money or provide personal information to someone you only know online. If you think you may have fallen victim or are in danger of falling victim to a sweetheart scam, call your local law enforcement immediately.