Target 2 Consumer Alert: Wisconsin ranks high in 'catfishing' romance scam

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A new report finds Wisconsin is one of the catfishing capitals of the nation. It's not about great fishing, it’s people getting lured into romance scams.

Photo courtesy: MGN

Scammers use fake pictures, profiles, and tell a really a good story to try and trick you into a relationship.

It's called catfishing.

A new report from - When Love Bites, ranks Wisconsin number three in states where people are most likely to fall victim to catfishing.

It used the FBI Internet Crimes Report from last year to break it all down. Alaska is the number one state followed by Nevada.

So why is Wisconsin so high on that list?

A researcher with the group tells Target 2, “It could come down to people in Wisconsin looking for love more online than any of the surrounding states, and not knowing the signs of a catfish."

Last year, victims in Wisconsin lost more than $14,000 because of this scam. Nationwide, romance scams added up to more than $323 million.

Consumer advocates say to avoid these scams and say to never send money or open an account for someone. It’s important to analyze their profile and do an internet search of name and profile picture.

Another tip: Never give up personal information that could be used in identity theft, financial information, and also things that could be used as security question answers to verify your identity.

A lot of victims are embarrassed.
Only about 10% of people who've been a victim in a romance scam will actually report it, but doing so can help investigators and protect others from the same scam.