LCSO: Online love could leave your heart, and your wallet, empty

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Could your new love interest be a complete scam? The Lee County Sheriff’s Office says your chances are higher if you have a profile on an online dating site.

LCSO warns that some people may fall victim to scammers interested in depleting their funds.

People who use online dating services, social networking sites, chat rooms and instant messaging sites should be careful, the department says. “Online cupids” could be scheming against you as they simultaneously attempt to sweep you off your feet just in time for Valentine’s Day, the department says.

To avoid a scam the sheriff’s office says you should look out for these signs from your partner:

  • Their profile seems to disappear off the web site immediately after your conversations begins
  • They immediately ask to exchange pictures
  • They claim to love you almost instantly, usually within the first week of talking
  • They claim God brought you to him/her
  • They claim to be from the U.S. but are oversees for business or family matters
  • They avoid personal questions
  • Ironically they share many things in common with you, such as the loss of a spouse/child/parent. Typically their story is tragic
  • They declare their undying love through poetry, flowers and empty promises
  • As the fairy tale romance progresses, they eventually ask for money to help overcome a financial situation, or to cover travel costs so the two of you can meet

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