SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Teddy bears, chocolate and flowers are everywhere at this time of the year and with online dating being the new norm, experts say to keep your guard up when swiping right.
“There are tons of online dating scams,” said Stephanie Garland.
Stephanie Garland works for the Better Business Bureau in Springfield. She says online dating scams are common. Garland says a woman in the Ozarks just went through it.
“She had lost the love of her life, her girlfriend,” said Garland.
Garland says the woman found a psychic online. She says the psychic promised they could fix the relationship, bringing back the woman’s girlfriend, but it all came with a price.
“This woman just ended up sending her money and until this kept going on for quite a while until she ended up giving the psychic $10,000 dollars,” said Garland.
Dr. Jason Glass, a psychologist with Mercy Hospital, says he sees clients weekly talk about heartbreak and online dating. He says people falling for these types of scams can be lonely and depressed. He says people need to make sure they are not isolated.
“When we have good people in our corner they are gonna say this sounds fishy,” said Glass.
Garland says there are things to watch out for when you’re online dating.
“Scammers building a relationship and then start asking for money should be a huge red flag,” said Garland.
“If somebody is never able to meet you in person that should be a huge red flag,” said Garland.
“True Happiness comes from within, you build on yourself, you make yourself healthy and then when the time is a right person comes around you’ll be ready, it won’t be fake. it will be real,” said Glass.
If this is happening to you, Garland says to call the non-emergency dispatch number to report everything that has happened.