PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The FBI is warning people about a new online dating scam.
These so-called romance scammers are creating fake accounts on popular online dating sites to try and lure people in.
We’re told if it seems too good to be true, even the persons profile picture, then it probably is a scam.
“Instead of finding love or romance, many people try to find a scammer trying to trick them into sending them some money,” said Doug Olson, special agent in charge of the Cyber Intelligent Branch at FBI Pittsburgh.
A lot of money, in some cases, thousands of dollars.
That’s why agents at the Pittsburgh FBI office are warning people not to fall for what could potentially be a heartbreaking situation.
“Most commonly, the perpetrators are men targeting women over 40 who are divorced, widowed, elderly or disabled,” said Olson.
And these criminals are very convincing.
They’ll send flowers and other little gifts and tell the potential victim just how wonderful they are.
KDKA has learned these scammers will do that through popular dating websites and then quickly make a person feel comfortable enough to have personal email exchanges.
This can open the door to not only a broken heart but a damaged bank account.
“The past two years, there’s been over 346 victims of this type of fraud and those victims loss of $3 million dollars,” said Olson.
And we’re told if you think you’ve been scammed, report it right away.