Looking for love online could cost you

Posted at 8:15 PM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-27 13:38:15-05
Valentine's Day may be over, but scammers love to steal your money year round.
It almost happened to viewer Margaret's mom.
She let me know her 62-year-old mother recently tried online dating and fell hard for a man claiming to be a captain in the military. She says the guy even sent pictures of himself in uniform. 
The man claimed that he needed to complete discharge papers, and since he really loved her he wanted to name her as next of kin on the documents.
The "captain" emailed the papers which directed her to a website that asked for a transfer fee of more than $18,000.
Fortunately, Margaret's mom found out what was going on before any money was sent.
We get at least one of these every week and are glad this scammer didn't cash in.
Dating, in general, is a gamble. But online dating allows people to be anonymous. So you have to take extra steps to protect yourself. 
When you get pictures, run a Google image search to see where else the photo pops up online. 
Avoid talking to people out of the state or country; makes it too easy to hide.
Block and report anyone claiming to be in the military or stuck somewhere and in need of money. 
And if you've given out personal information be sure to monitor your credit reports and accounts for unauthorized activity.
Need my help?
Call volunteers with the Assistance League of Phoenix at 855-323-1515, email me at or contact me on Facebook or Twitter.