Christmas season is also catfishing season. Don't fall for a romance scam


Before a relationship heats up, try to verify that your online paramour is who he or she claims to be. — People vector created by pch.vector - www.freepik.com

The season of holiday cheer is also the peak time for scammers offering bogus romance. Thousands of Americans looking for a new love to help usher in the new year will instead be beguiled by online con artists who use fake identities and empty promises to talk the lovestruck out of their savings — or worse.

More Californians report being victimised by these frauds than any other state's residents, a testament to the state's size if not necessarily its collective loneliness. And while the top targets in 2020 were people 40 to 69 years old, the Federal Trade Commission said in February, the number of reported victims rose in every age group.

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