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Avoiding romantic ripoffs

Red flags and warnings signs of scams

These days many singles are looking for love and companionship on dating sites or phone apps, but don't forget to be careful when meeting new people in cyberspace.

Troy police say one woman was recently swindled out of $703,000 by a man she met on Match.com.

Here are some of the red flags to watch for and some steps you can take to protect your money and your heart.

#1) Check the profiles very carefully. Look for bad grammar, misspellings, and does the photo seem legitimate?

#2) What occupation does the person list? Scammers will often choose occupations that seem profitable, glamourous, or heroic. For example,
men may say they're in the military or engineers. Woman may say they're models.

#3) Does the person claim to be living or working in a foreign country? That can be a huge red flag! How serious can this person be about developing a relationship if they're living thousands of miles away?

#4) Be suspicious if the person tries to take your conversation away from the dating site, especially if that happens very quickly.

#5) Ask a lot of specific questions. If the person says they live in Detroit, ask them very specific questions about Detroit and check their answers.

#6) Be extra cautious if the person seems to get too serious too soon. Scammers are very good sweet talkers and often make big declarations very
quickly.

#7) Copy the name of the person or other information from the profile and do an internet search. If you're dealing with a scammer, some of that information may pop up on scam sites or on multiple dating sites.

#8) Be very leery of anyone who asks for money or personal information before you meet in person. That's a huge red flag, don't share information or
give money to anyone you haven't met in person!

#9) NEVER wire money to anyone or use other forms of payment that cannot be tracked. If the money can't be tracked, you'll never get it back if
you send it to a scammer.

#10) Finally, listen to your gut! If something seems suspicious, stop what you're doing and talk to a trusted friend or relative to see if they agree.


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