CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Love may be in the air, but the Willoughby Police Department is warning its residents to look out for potential romance scams.
The Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information website reported that in 2018 people reported losing $143 million to romance.
Last year alone, people involved in romance scams reported a median loss of $2,600.
The website lists four bullet points to encourage potential partners to take it slow and be cautious when meeting people on social media and dating websites.
- Never send money or gifts to a sweetheart you haven’t met in person.
- Take it slowly. Ask questions and look for inconsistent answers. Check the person’s photo using your search engine’s “search by image” feature. If the same picture shows up with a different name, that’s a red flag.
- Talk to someone about this new love interest. And pay attention if your friends or family are concerned.
- If you suspect a romance scam, cut off contact right away. Then, report to the scam to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Notify the dating site where you met the scammer, too.
The FTC also provides information that might help prevent online dating scams.
With millions of Americans using dating sites, and chat rooms to meet people looking for love can be a a rocky road.
Online love can be costly.