Tips on avoiding an online dating scam

The FBI says single aren't the only ones using online dating sites to find what they need.

Criminals are using online dating sites to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through scams.

According to research conducted by the FBI, criminals who troll social media and online dating sites looking for victims usually claim to be Americans traveling or working abroad. In reality, they often live overseas. Their most common targets are women over 40, who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled, but every age group and demographic is at risk.

Here are some tips provided by the FBI on how you can avoid being a victim:

Recognizing an Online Dating Scam Artist

* Presses you to leave the dating website you met through and to communicate using personal e-mail or instant messaging;

* Professes instant feelings of love;

* Sends you a photograph of himself or herself that looks like something from a magazine;

* Claims to be from the U.S. and is traveling or working overseas;

* Makes plans to visit you but is then unable to do so because of a tragic event; or

* Asks for money for a variety of reasons (travel, medical emergencies, hotel bills, hospitals bills for child or other relative, visas or other official documents, losses from a financial setback or crime victimization).

The FBI suggests sticking to online dating websites with nationally known reputations.


Thursday at 11 p.m.

That dating profile may look great, but what's not online could be dangerous. As the popularity of online dating grows, so do the risks. Thursday at 11, ABC2 News' Brian Kuebler revealed a new form of safety net – a digital solution to the dangers of online dating . Check out that story here !

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