WEST ORANGE, NJ — West Orange Police are warning residents to be aware of online dating scams.
With Valentine’s Day upon us, West Orange police have said that some people who have turned to dating sites and apps have unfortunately fallen victim to “sweetheart scammers.” According to police, these scammers often pretend to be people they are not by using another person’s profile picture on their dating profiles.
Dating scams are the second-largest type of online fraud in the U.S., according to the FBI, with victims reporting more than $211 million losses in 2017.
The West Orange Police Department has shared that common warning signs that an online love interest might be a fake include when the person asks you to:
• Chat off of the dating site immediately, using personal email, text or phone
• Wire money using Western Union or Money Gram
• Set up a new bank account
“Think with your head and not your heart,” the police department wrote in its official warning to residents. “Don’t send money to someone you met online for any reason. If your online sweetheart asks for money, you can expect it’s a scam.”