Are you looking for love in all the wrong places? The Federal Trade Commission wants to help.
The agency today issued a warning to lovelorn singles on how to avoid online dating scams.
In a typical scenario, the scammer creates a false online profile, gains the trust of a would-be love connection, then asks the person to wire money.
According to the FTC, here are some warning signs that someone you met online could be in it for the money:
Wanting to leave the dating site immediately and use personal e-mail or IM accounts.
Claiming instant feelings of love.
Claiming to be from the United States but currently overseas.
Planning to visit, but being unable to do so because of a tragic event.
Asking for money to pay for travel, visas or other travel documents, medication, a child or other relative’s hospital bills, recovery from a temporary financial setback, or expenses while a big business deal comes through.
Making multiple requests for more money.
“Regardless of how convincing the story, the bottom line is this: if you send money to someone you haven't met, the money will be gone, along with the person you thought you knew,” according to the FTC. “Wiring money is the same as sending cash: once it's gone, you can't get it back.”