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As Valentine’s Day approaches, watchdogs warn against romantic scams

OMAHA, Nebraska (Nebraska) – With less than two weeks left until Valentine’s Day, it’s certainly time to show and tell your spouse or other important person how much you care about them.

There are traditional postcards, candies or flowers that are readily available at the nearest grocery store or flower shop.

However, this is also a time to be very careful if you are looking for love or companionship.

“Often these are elderly people who have lost loved ones, widows or widowers,” said Jim Hegarty, regional president of the Better Business Bureau.

Hegarty tells 6 News that scammers often use this time of year to try to meet someone online, gain their trust and steal their money. The BBB website has a section on romance scams and what to watch out for.

“Essentially, these are criminals who create fake profiles on online dating sites designed to lure unsuspecting victims into some pretty horrific traps,” Hegarty said.

Hegarty says there are several signs that someone is trying to get into your heart… and into your bank account.

First, they will never want to meet you in person or go on a physical date. Secondly, they try to get you out of the site you met and instead try to secretly communicate via FaceTime or text message.

Also, search for an image of the person you’re talking to on Google. If the image shows a bunch of different profiles or names, they are most likely not who they say they are.

Hegarty notes that there are plenty of legitimate online dating sites, but advises getting a second opinion. Tell your friends about any romantic interaction you might have so you don’t get robbed.

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