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Love don’t cost a thing: Valentine’s Day romance scams

National

FILE – In this Jan. 14, 2009 file photo, colored “Sweethearts” candy is held in bulk prior to packaging at the New England Confectionery Company in Revere, Mass. The candies won’t be on store shelves this Valentine’s Day. The New England Confectionary Co., or Necco, had been making the popular candies since 1886. But the company filed for bankruptcy protection last spring. Ohio-based Spangler Candy Co. bought Necco in May. But Spangler said Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, that it didn’t have time to bring Sweethearts to market this Valentine’s season. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

As The Beatles would sing, “I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love”

Online dating sites, apps or social media to find “the one,” could be a sweet-talking romance scammer trying to trick you into sending money, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

According to new FTC data, the number of romance scams people report to the FTC has nearly tripled since 2015.

These scams costing people a lot of cash from an estimated $33 million in 2015 to $201 million in 2019. 2019 was up nearly 40% since 2018.

People reported losing more money to romance scams in the past two years than to any other fraud reported to the FTC.

Smooth-talking Casanova’s create fake profiles and send flattering messages to make a special connection. After gaining your trust, they want to make future plans but something comes up and they ask you for money to help them out.

Here’s the thing: Never send money or gifts to a love interest you haven’t actually met.

In 2019, more than 25,000 consumers filed a report with the FTC about romance scams, if someone asks you to wire money or pay with gift cards, report it to the FTC.

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