Even If You're Lonely This Valentine's Day, Don't Fall For A Romance Scam

We all know about looking for love in all the wrong places (bars with free hot dogs), but another thing to avoid is sending your love in the form of money to someone you’ve never met. Consumers looking to making a match might just be happy enough for a connection to send money for their new interest to visit, which could result in heartbreak and a ding to your bank account.

The L.A. Times outlines a few popular scams used to squeeze money out of unsuspecting consumers during this time of year, one of which is the Romance Scam. Lonely hearts on the Internet find a potential love match on a dating or social networking sites, and said object of affection asks for money to travel to meet their heart’s content in the flesh.

We can see where this is going — lover boy/girl never shows up, and now you’re lighter in the pockets and heavier in the heart, sitting in a pile of chocolate wrappers and empty wine bottles with “All By Myself” blaring in the background. Experts (and common sense) suggest not sending money to anyone you don’t know, even if they tell you they really, really love you and this could be the real thing.

Another scheme that’s all the rage with scam artists is aimed at those looking to unload their time shares. Scammers offer to find a buyer for your time share, and charge a fee or deposit they say is necessary to start the process. Then it’s just a quick disappearing act by the scammers. Beware of sales reps who charge upfront fees, and always check with the Better Business Bureau before going through with any transaction.

Scam Watch: consumers conned by would-be lovers [L.A. Times]