We mean it. It's Sweetest Day -- a day to be sweet and loving, but in some ways, the act of giving can go way too far, deep into the pockets of hopeful romantics.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning the public of scammers who develop romantic, online relationships before asking money from their victims.
â??This scam can be very costly both emotionally and financially,â?? Attorney General DeWine said.
The rip-off is worth more than cards and candy. The administration received about 70 complaints since October 2011 that involved scams with reports up to a $210,000 lost.
Con-artists meet their victims online through dating websites or social networking sites, communicating through email, instant message, or phone. They can spend up to months developing a level of intimacy with their victims before asking for money.
â??Eventually theyâ??ll make up some excuse why they need money. In these situations, if someone youâ??ve never met in person asks you to send money, itâ??s probably a scam,â?? DeWine said in prepared statement.
Dewine said the scammer eventually asks the victim to send money to help cover some type of cost, such as airfare to visit the victim, medical expenses, or fees associated with military leave. The scammer often asks the victim to send the money through a wire transfer.
Attorney General DeWine offers tips to catch the tall-tale signs:
â?¢ Research someone you meet online; donâ??t rely on what that person tells you. Perform Internet searches and consider getting a background check.
â?¢ Be cautious of individuals who claim it was destiny or fate that brought you together.
â?¢ Talk to friends and family members about online relationships.
â?¢ Donâ??t send money to someone you meet online, even if you have developed a relationship.
â?¢ Be very skeptical of requests for money sent via wire transfer or prepaid money cards. These are preferred payment methods for scammers.
Once the money is sent, it is nearly impossible to recover. Love comes with a certain price tag, but in the mean time, remember relationships have both parties giving and receiving.