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Be Aware of Scammers this Valentine's

Digital Citizens, Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so it’s a good time to remember that scammers are always looking to prey on vulnerable people.  Trying to make real connections online can leave even the best of us vulnerable if we don’t know what to watch for.

Romance cons go back thousands of years, but the rise of the Internet has made it easier than ever for scammers across the globe to target daters.

Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o’s much-publicized romantic travails are only the tip of the ice berg: Average Americans are daily victims of online criminals who break their hearts and steal their money.

Check out this infographic from ThreatMetrix that illustrates how widespread online dating scams have become.  Here are just a few facts and figures you should know:

  • 1 in 10 online dating profiles are scams
  • Women between the ages of 45 and 60 make up 60% of the victims of online dating scams
  • $4 billion is spent on online dating every year, making online daters a tempting target for thieves

The Internet can be a great way to meet people who share your interests and are looking for the same kinds of connections you are.  Just be careful out there, and make sure your friends and loved ones know how to stay safe too. 

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