November 24, 2010

Americans Beware Of Online Dating Scams

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned Americans on Tuesday to be extra vigilant with online dating scams that are becoming increasingly popular.

"Scammers sometimes use online dating and social networking sites to try to convince people to send money in the name of love," the FTC told AFP.

A typical example of how these scams might work involves a scam artist creating a fake profile, gaining the trust of an online love interest, and then asking the person to wire them money, usually to somewhere outside the United States, according to the FTC.

The FTC said wiring money is the same as sending cash, and "once it's gone, it can't be recovered."

The FTC said there are a number of "warning signs" people need to be aware of when using online dating sites. Those who are looking to "leave the dating site immediately and use personal e-mail or IM accounts" are ones to watch out for.

Online daters should also be aware of potential partners who are "planning to visit, but (are) unable to do so because of a tragic event" or claim to feel love for the victim almost immediately, it said.

Other warning signs include "asking for money to pay for travel, visas or other travel documents, medication, a child or other relative's hospital bills," the FTC said.


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