On Valentine’s Day, Erie County DA warns of online romance scams | #youtubescams | #lovescams | #datingscams

If an online love interest asks you for money or makes you uncomfortable, stop talking to them as it may be a scam.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — While love is in the air, Erie County DA warns that scammers may also be taking advantage of the season. 

For his weekly YouTube presentation, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn focused on romance scams. Romance scams are when scammers prey on people looking for love and get them to send money to them.

Last year, in the State of New York almost 6,000 people fell victim to a romance scam, which resulted in $4.18 million being lost, according to Flynn. However, the DA says these crimes are often times under reported because the victims feel too ashamed to come forward.

According to an article by Comparitech, online dating sites see an increase in activity from the end of December through the beginning of February. 

To help people be on the lookout for these scams during this busy period for online dating, the DA’s office provided the following signs of romance scammer:

  • They ask for money or gifts
  • Offer to send gifts or put money into your bank account
  • Move quickly in the relationship, declaring their love for you early
  • Claim to be deployed or work overseas
  • Postpone in-person meeting by making excuses or blaming a lack of money
  • Ask you for personal information but don’t reveal much about themselves

To avoid becoming a victim, the DA’s office offered the following tips:

  • Stop responding to someone if they ask you for money or make you uncomfortable
  • Do not share personal information or explicit photos, this could be used to blackmail victims later
  • Do a reverse image search of their photos to see if they have copied images from somewhere else online
  • Talk to someone you trust if you are suspicious

You can watch Flynn’s full presentation on the DA’s YouTube page.

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