Has an online love interest asked you for money?

Looking to start a new relationship? For some, that may mean meeting a new love interest online. Word to the wise: sometimes it's best to lead with your head and not your heart.

Millions of Americans use dating sites, social networking sites, and chat rooms to meet people. And many forge successful relationships. But scammers also use these sites to meet potential victims. They create fake profiles to build online relationships, and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love.

The Federal Trade Commission receives thousands of reports each year about romance scammers who create fake online relationships only to steal their victims' money.

Unfortunately, an online love interest who asks for money is almost certainly a scam artist.

The FTC's new infographic, developed with the American Bankers Association Foundation, lists common signs of online dating scams and what to do if someone you meet online asks you for money.

Below are some tips to identify a real romance versus a scammer cruising for a target.

  • Has an online love interest asked you for money?
  • Scammers know millions of people use online dating sites.  They are there, too, hiding behind fake profiles.

Signs of a Scam:

  • Professes love quickly
  • Claims to be from the U.S. but is oversees for business or military services

What to do:

  • Slow down and talk to someone you trust.  Don't let a scammer rush you
  • Never wire money
  • Contact your bank right away if you think you've sent money to a scammer