Quick Tip: How to avoid online dating scams as Valentine's Day approaches

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It is the season for love with Valentine's Day approaching.

If you're looking for that special person online, you're not alone. More than half of all single people have used an online dating site or app to find romance. Not everyone on those platforms is there for the right reasons. According to a new Wells Fargo survey, nearly two-thirds, or 63%, of online daters have been contacted by a scammer.

Here's how you can avoid a romance scam:

Don't respond to requests for financial help: The most common ploys involve being asked to send money or gift cards to help in a sudden personal crisis.

Wait to share personal information: Never give someone you haven't met information such as your address or birthdate. And if they ask for a social security number or credit card information, that is huge red flag.

Do research: Check other social media platforms if you have their full name or run a reverse image search of their profile picture to determine if they are real and not a "catfish." To verify, Facetime or video chat within the first week of meeting.

If you suspect a profile is suspicious, trust your instinct. Block and report the user.
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