FBI warning against ‘romance scams’ as Valentine’s Day approaches

PITTSBURGH — FBI officials are warning people who are looking for love this Valentine’s Day season to be wary of online scams where you could lose your money.

Agents said people are often targeted this time of year specifically because of the holiday. Victims have reported losing tens of millions of dollars over the last two years across the state.

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The FBI says these criminals create fake profiles then troll for victims - most commonly their targets are women over 40 who are divorced, widowed or disabled.

“Scammers will tell people they are in or traveling outside the US, working on an oil rig or even in the military," Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s cyber crime’s unit Doug Olson said.

That’s when the say a crisis came up and they need money.

“Asking for money from someone you never met is a red flag," Olson told 11 Investigates.

Important links:

Report a romance scam to the FBI

FBI - Info about romance scams

FTC - How to protect yourself from romance scams