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Online romance scams are heartbreaking

PORTLAND, Oregon — Online romance is prime real estate for scam artists, and with Facebook adding an online dating service for some customers soon, the Better Business Bureau is urging everyone to take caution.

Danielle Kane, with the BBB, said online romance scams are now costing victims millions of dollars annually.

“Last year, Oregon victims lost an average of $10,200 to romance scams,” Kane said.

There are tips to keep in your mental toolbox when it comes to recognizing a romance scam. Most of the time, it’s usually too good to be true — someone beautiful and lonely, with a tragic backstory, looking for a quick relationship.

“Scammers start to talk about a future together very fast,” Kane said, “often saying things like, ‘I knew I loved you right away.’ ”

Kane said the scammers move quickly and then when an in-person meeting is requested, they claim some terrible tragedy has happened and they need money right away.

Kane said, regardless of your feelings, never send money to someone you have never met, especially over the Internet.

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