Don’t let scammers break your heart or bank account this Valentine’s Day, FBI warns

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation in Georgia has a warning for Valentine’s Day week: Don’t let scammers break your heart or your bank account

For Channel 2 Action News This Morning, Channel 2′s Linda Stouffer looked at how you can avoid romance scams.

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In the same places people are looking for love, scammers are looking for victims.

The FBI says victims lost $735 million in 2022 to romance and confidence scams. In Georgia alone, it was $10.5 million.

“The victims are really everybody. Anyone who had a phone, device, access to social media a phone, texting, chat messages, you’re gonna be solicited at some point,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Seres tells Channel 2 Action News.

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Seres says that senior citizens are especially at risk. Romance “red flags” are when someone wants to a move chat off social media and onto another platform or when someone you’ve never met in real life asks for money or help.

“If you feel you’ve developed a relationship with a real person, they’re going to give you real details give you opportunity to meet, know about them. etc. They’re not going to be mysterious, overseas,” Seres said.

What can you do to keep your money safe? The FBI says be careful what details you post online, use only dating apps with national reputations and go slow. Don’t trust everything you see, even a profile picture could be someone else’s.

“These are professional criminals who are targeting you as a job they know what to do they know what to say,” Seres said.

If you suspect a spam, stop contact right away and report it to your bank and local authorities. Report scams to the FBI at IC3.gov

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