MISSOULA, Mont. — Dating internet sites and apps are seeing a surge in people looking for romance.
The Better Business Bureau says most of us know somebody who is trying to find love online.
Hannah Stiff managers the Better Business Bureau Montana Marketplace.
“There are a lot of reputable sites that have success stories. Unfortunately, though, with the rise of interest in dating sites, we also see scammers are catching onto these online dating sites and tricking people with fake profiles, said Stiff.
Experts say these scammers will prey on victims looking for love.
“They will ask for money. They will want to get off the website or the app and message you directly. They will get intimate very quickly. They will try to build your trust. Then, they’ll have a hard luck story. Maybe they need help with car repairs, or a funeral. They will say you need to give them your credit card information, or wire them money. It’s all a sham,” said Stiff.
The BBB warns that the online thieves can be very convincing.
“These people make up these elaborate hard luck stories. They pull pictures of beautiful people off the internet and try to lure people in. We try to tell people to be realistic about yourself. Does this look like somebody who came out of a magazine? That’s a red flag that this is a fake profile,” said Stiff.
The BBB urges dating site users to look for inconsistencies in what the person is portraying, and never give out your financial information to somebody you are meeting on a dating site.