BBB warns lonely hearts to look out for catfish, online romance scams this Valentine’s Day

Local News

Valentine’s Day is only days away and love is in the air. Unfortunately, it may smell like fish — catfish. Experts at the Better Business Bureau warn against wearing the heart goggles when looking for a date online.

“People do it every day. They can put a nice looking picture up, and oh that’s me and I make all this money and then they got you,” explains BBB representative Mallory Vergara.

She suggests doing your homework on anyone who sounds too good to be true.

“Research their page, I mean most everybody has a social media page,” Vergara explains to News 3’s Mikhaela Singleton. “Just double check their inormation, there’s plenty of sites where you can do it. You can do it online, you can check to see if they have an Instagram account, Facebook, there’s plenty of sites where you can see if this is a real person.”

She also says pay attention to any red flags like refusing to video chat or talk on the phone and always watch out for anyone asking for money.

“They’ll say well I’m in Florida or I”m in your hometown, but I need this amount of money to get there or I need you to pay for my airplane ticket. They’re gonna always say give me some kind of money to get me there.”

Finally, Vergara adds don’t be afraid to hit that unmatch button and report the scammer to the site and police if necessary. If you believe you’ve been the victim of a scam, contact the Columbus Better Bureau Office call 706-324-0712.

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