With Valentine's Day approaching, the Federal Trade Commission warns both men and women to be wary of online romance imposter scams that try to steal your money.

The scam is really sad because it preys on someone's desire to find someone special and plays with those and other emotions.

Basically, scammers develop online relationships with someone through dating profiles.  After building a level of trust, they then start to ask for money.  The money could be for a plane ticket to meet in person or something urgent like a medical issue.

According to the FDC:

Scammers, both male and female, make fake dating profiles, sometimes using photos of other people — even stolen pictures of real military personnel. They build relationships — some even fake wedding plans — before they disappear with your money.

 

The bottom line is don't send money to anyone you don't know personally from your day-to-day life.  Also, if you sense you are being setup or scammed, report it immediately to prevent them from ripping you and others off.

You can report scams to the Federal Trade Commission in two ways: