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Beware of Online Romance Scams

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Valentine’s Day means a lot to many of us who are busy sending flowers or chocolates to loved ones, or finding creative and romantic ways to tell our loved ones exactly how we feel.

But Valentine’s Day means something completely different to those who prey on your deepest feelings and emotions for personal profit. For the sinister scammers of the world, this day is all about separating you from your hard-earned money.

Romance scams start with fake profiles on online dating sites. The scammer, who is conveniently working abroad, quickly builds a relationship with the targeted victim, exchanging photos, romantic messages, or even talking by phone. Then they will make a request: money needed for an emergency or maybe to plan an in-person visit. The target sends money, and then never hears from the love interest again.

Be on the lookout for this scam and learn how to protect yourself from fraudsters. If you think you are a victim of a potential fraud, reach out to local law enforcement immediately. Remember, if you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

To learn more about fraud pretention or report scams in your area, contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork .

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