Valentine's Day is a day of romance and a great time to show appreciation and affection to your loved one. But, some predators are using this time to prey on Ohio residents and scam them. Homeland Security has issued a warning that these scammers are finding new victims.

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Homeland Security Issues Scam Alert Warning

An old scam with a new twist has been making its rounds in Ohio during a time when many have romance on their minds. But authorities say it's not just people looking for love during Valentine's Day that are at risk of these scams. Romance scams have the potential to affect everyone.

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According to the United States Secret Service, romance scammers create fake online profiles and attempt to build phony emotional attachments until a potential victim is comfortable sending them money. Some criminals have started using AI techniques to craft text messages and create photos and videos of people who look and sound realistic.

Read More: BEWARE: New And Dangerous 'Romance Scam' On The Rise In Illinois

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Red Flags To Look Out For With Romance Scams

While romance scams can affect anyone, Homeland Security is warning that these criminals are especially targeting older people and those who may be struggling in a relationship or are emotionally vulnerable. Authorities have offered ways to keep residents aware of these scams:

  • Listen to your gut. If the individual seems too good to be true, they probably are.
  • Do not overshare personal information. Requests for inappropriate photos or financial information could later be used to extort you.
  • Do not send money. Never send money, gift cards, or anything of value to anyone you have only communicated with online or by phone.

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