Online scammers aim to break your heart and your bank account: Your Stories

SYRACUSE (WSYR-TV) - Millions of people are logging on to dating websites, but at the same time, scammers are doing the same.

While dating websites open doors to potential friendships and romances, the Better Business Bureau cautions online daters to beware of people pretending to be someone else with plans to get your money.

64-year-old Blondien Laty has been using online dating services for about six months. Laty says she has seen it all.

“Each one was a little bit different but a lot of it was the same,” Laty said. “When they start saying I love you, you’ve got to know there’s definitely something going on.”

Laty says many men she has met online are looking for something other than love.

“There’s been so many of them and I can almost tell just about the time they’re going to start asking for money,” Laty shared.

Laty hasn’t been duped and has her guard up, but she wants to warn others.

Surfing sites like Zoosk, MeetMe.com or Plenty of Fish – Laty says men from across the country or around the world start off sweet.

“Next thing I know, he’s saying his pay hasn’t come through yet and he wants me to send the child’s guardian $1,200 to help with the transfusion,” Laty said.
Other scammers have asked Laty for sums of money ranging from $200 to $350.

“Ten men eventually asked me for either money or pre-paid cards from Wal-Mart,” Laty said.

Laty says she has blocked profiles on different sites and she has also reported a few people to the FBI. She says a few men led her to believe they wanted money for illegal activity overseas.

Laty says she will continue to use dating websites because she has met a few potential companions. Plus, her sister met her husband on a dating website, which keeps her optimistic.

However, Laty says surf dating websites with caution.

“I’m just one person and I can say, ‘no.,’ but there’s a lot of women out there,” Laty said. “I know guys who have had women to this to them.”

The Better Business Bureau also recommends people report any type of online scam to the BBB Scam Tracker.

Online dating red flags:
-Suspicious name & photos
-Lives or works overseas
-Won't meet or video chat
-Bad grammar or misspellings
-Builds trust then asks for money

Safety reminders:
-Never send money or personal info
-Be mindful of public & private messaging
-Research photos & name
-Ask them specific questions about their profile


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