DeWine: Be wary of online love scams this Valentine’s Day


Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has urged residents to be wary of potential scammers while looking for love online this Valentine’s Day.

“Sweetheart scams” — scams revolving around victims who have met con artists online through social media and dating websites — resulted in 40 Ohioans losing thousands of dollars in 2017, according to the attorney general’s office. The scammers typically create fake profiles to communicate with their would-be victims and create elaborate stories to eventually ask them to send cash.

» READ MORE: Heart box candy still popular on Valentine’s Day in Ohio

“Sometimes online dating works out very well but unfortunately, there are some con artists who pretend to be someone they’re not,” DeWine said in a news release.

The con artist convinces the victim to send money through various means such as prepaid cards or money orders, but can also include harder to trace methods. Once the money is gone, it’s nearly impossible to recover.

» READ MORE: Valentine’s Day spending to hit near record this year

DeWine offered the following tips to help avoid being scammed during the upcoming holiday:

1. Research someone you met online.

It’s best not to rely solely on information your would-be sweetheart tells you themselves. Search the person’s name and look into details they provide. Don’t assume they’re trustworthy just because you met them on a reputable dating site.

2. Be wary of relationships that develop very quickly.

Take care when someone says they’ve developed lasting feelings very soon after you’ve met online and have yet to meet in person. Talk to friends and family about any online relationships, even if the other person asks you to keep it a secret.

» READ MORE: Valentine’s Day 2018: 6 ways to eat free or cheap

3. Don’t send money to someone you’ve only met online.

Be skeptical if the person makes requests for money send via money order, wire transfer, cash or gift cards. These are typically the preferred methods for scammers.

» TRENDING STORY: Women assault Springfield Family Dollar employee over Facebook post



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Crime

Chrissy Teigen, John Legend share first photo, reveal name of newborn son
Chrissy Teigen, John Legend share first photo, reveal name of newborn son

Aww! Model, TV host and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen took to Instagram on Sunday to share a sweet photo and reveal the name of her newborn son. "Hello, world! This is Miles Theodore Stephens," Teigen wrote. "We are drowning in his little peeps and nuzzles. Our household feels overwhelmed with love. Thank you for all your well...
Isolated storms, strong winds to develop today
Isolated storms, strong winds to develop today

Isolated storms today, possibly strong Warmer than normal week Dry time returns TODAY: A mild and muggy morning, yet a quiet start to the day. Some sunshine and scattered clouds expected into the afternoon. Isolated storms develop late afternoon that may become strong with the main threat being strong to damaging winds. Activity tapers off into...
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry donate royal wedding flowers to hospice patients
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry donate royal wedding flowers to hospice patients

Patients at St. Joseph's Hospice in London received a special gift after Saturday's royal wedding. According to People magazine, Britain's Prince Harry and bride Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, gave the hospice some flowers that had been used to decorate St. George's Chapel for their ceremony. "Today we got a very special delivery. Beautiful...
Special education teacher accused of dragging, choking, punching students
Special education teacher accused of dragging, choking, punching students

A former Oklahoma teacher is facing two misdemeanor charges after witnesses say she physically injured her special education students. KFOR reported last week that Holly Noelle Morris, 38, is accused of "choking, punching, pinching and squeezing two of her students on several occasions" while she was working as a special education teacher...
2018 Billboard Music Awards: Ed Sheeran, Janet Jackson, Taylor Swift top winner list
2018 Billboard Music Awards: Ed Sheeran, Janet Jackson, Taylor Swift top winner list

Singers, songwriters and recording artists were awarded at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards Sunday in Las Vegas. 
More Stories