Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 6:58 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - On this Valentine’s Day we have a Consumer First Alert about romance scams. A new report from the Federal Trade Commission finds the number of victims at an all-time high.

Victims lost $547 million in 2021. Losses are up nearly 80 percent.

One victim shared her story in hopes of preventing more heartbreak.

“Like in a book, you’ve got the mystery, you’ve got the romance. Pretty soon I was investigating,” said Vicki. “Is he a real person?”

Vicky says she wasn’t looking for love when she met a stranger through a game on Facebook. His romantic messages turned into requests for thousands of dollars.

The Better Business Bureau says the pandemic pushed romance scams to a new level.

“The rise of this scam on social media sites is huge. It’s just blown up,” says Susan Bach, Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin. “It’s because you can really create a fake profile very easily. You can remain anonymous.

Some victims make huge emotional and financial investments.

If you are suspicious, do a reverse internet search with the person’s name, image or story. Never send them money.

The full Consumer First Alert report on Romance Scams airs Monday evening on Action 2 News.

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