Socialcatfish.com just released a story that says $75 million was lost due to romance scams in America in 2016. That number grew to $304 million lost last year with 32,792 cases reported and includes over 300 Minnesotans that lost close to $7 million!

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

Scammers often create a fake dating profile using photos of other people. The Minnesota Attorney General's Office says, "fake profiles may have discrepancies or inconsistencies, like disproportionate height and weight, or be suspiciously vague. Romance scammers often claim to be a U.S. citizen working or serving abroad, or give a similar excuse to explain their inability to meet in person." Once the scammer gains the person's trust they start asking for money to be sent either online or through Western Union or Money Grams.

BE CAREFUL:

The MN AG reminds everyone to be careful when sharing personal and financial info with people they have not met and encourages you to report scammers to the dating site or app that you're on.

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WHAT TO DO IF YOU'VE BEEN SCAMMED:

The Federal Trade Commission offers these two tips:

  • If you paid a romance scammer with a gift card, contact the company that issued the card right away. Tell them you paid a scammer with the gift card and ask if they can refund your money.
  • If you think it’s a scam, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Notify the website or app where you met the scammer, too.

Keep scrolling to see how scammers have been targeting people through the pandemic.

KEEP READING: These are the top 6 scams connected to the pandemic