LAREDO, Texas (KGNS) - It is Valentine’s Day but there are plenty of scams to be aware of if you are looking for love online.
The Federal Trade Commission says over 14,000 romance scams were reported to the FBI last year, which is more than triple from years back.
The Better Business Bureau of San Antonio has been investigating all of these scams also known as being “catfished”.
A lot of people these days tend to use online dating and apps to find love or companionship and some are successful.
However, online dating, social media and apps have all made it easier for scammers to strike.
Con artists can create multiple back stories and full identifies to trick people into falling for someone who does not even exist.
The Better Business Bureau wants you to keep your guard up and not fall victim to these bad romance scams.
Last year alone there were 350 million dollars lost to romance scams.
Miguel Segura with the Better Business Bureau says, "Regardless of how convincing the profile may seem, regardless of how many pictures or what story they are giving you, these scammers are very sophisticated with very legitimate sounding stories to convince you. That's their job that's their well-being, and a lot of people fall for it."
Experts say the scams start with a fake profile, which usually has a picture from someone else’s account.
The person usually claims to be from overseas to have an excuse to not be able to see you.
Also, the person may start to create a fake relationship or friendship with you.
Eventually the person will likely make up a story about an emergency where they need money.
If you are going to use online dating to find that special someone, make sure you go to a legitimate website, don’t use social media, and don’t accept friend requests from people you do not know.