Millions scammed in their search for love on online dating sites

Updated: Aug. 28, 2017 at 9:08 AM CDT
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WSFA/NBC - Millions of relationships have blossomed online but so have scams, which can break your heart and your bank. The FBI says losses from these scams topped 230 million dollars last year.

Lilo Schuster spent years looking for love, then she met a handsome U.S. soldier online and was smitten. Schuster thought they were going to get married, so when he asked to borrow money, she wired it over, again and again.

Schuster said, "You feel like you're contributing to your relationship."

Schuster's love was a con artist using a stolen photo and she was heartbroken and out $23,000.

Dating today can be a minefield of scam artists. Particularly vulnerable? Women 'of a certain age' recently widowed or divorced.
But there are steps you can take to make sure the person you're talking to is telling you the truth.
Attorney Jonathan Hood says set up a time to meet, or at least speak on the phone or have a video chat. If somebody really doesn't want to do that there could be trouble.

Another red flag is a profile with basic spelling or grammar errors. That could mean he or she is a scammer located overseas.

Also, watch out for photos that look a little too glossy. Put the picture through a Google reverse image search.

"If you get a million results for it, chances are it's some kind of a stock photo," said Hood.

No matter what, never send money. Instead, report the person to the dating site and block him or her from ever contacting you again.

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