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Romance scams on the rise within past year, local experts say 18-30 year-olds are most vulnerable

According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2021 romance scams increased by 80% where scammers stole over $500 million.

YORK, Pa. — "More scammers are around on dating sites and platforms which is very unfortunate," said Dr. Behrooz Etesamipour with Millersville University.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, 56,000 romance scams were reported last year where scammers stole at least $547 million dollars.

These numbers are strikingly high compared to 2020 when only 33,000 romance scams were reported totaling $307 million in stolen money.

"The scammers are asking for money. They explain a story, a very convincing story and they're demanding help to get money," Dr. Etesamipour said.

Since COVID-19, Dr. Etesamipour said activity on online dating sites has increased.

He said users between the ages of 18-30 are the most vulnerable of becoming a victim of these scams, "this is simply because they are less experienced with reality of scammers and threats outside of the real world."

Those threats could lead to identity theft and fraud.

During this week of love, he reminds you to be safe online and to not give out any personal information.

If you suspect that you're a victim of a romance scam you can report it at the Federal Trade Commission's website.

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