ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – In case you’re looking for love online, the Better Business Bureau is reminding you to keep your wits about you.

The BBB’s latest data show romance scammers are on the rise. According to Julie Wheeler, President of the BBB Serving Western Virginia, scammers are taking advantage of the pandemic and economic situation to prey on people.

The FTC reports an estimated $304 million was lost to romance scammers last year. Wheeler said that is a 50-percent increase from 2019. She said if your online love interest asks for money, it’s probably a scam.

“Don’t let your heart loose, don’t fall in love so quickly,” Wheeler said. “Because you really don’t want to be hurt, not only financially but also emotionally. So don’t assume what they tell you is true. You have go to do your own due diligence and take care of yourself.”

Wheeler said if your love interest professes love quickly or claims to need money…

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