Ohio attorney general warns of 'sweetheart scams'

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The state's attorney general urges Ohioans to be wary of so-called "sweetheart scams" where con artists typically develop relationships with victims online before asking them for money.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says his office has received about 70 complaints of such scams since October 2011. DeWine says the highest reported loss was $210,000.

The con artist in a typical sweetheart scam meets the victim online through a dating website or social networking site and communicates through email, instant message or phone. The scammer later asks the victim to send money to help cover costs such as medical expenses.

The scammer often asks the victim to send money via wire transfer.

DeWine warns Ohioans not to send money to someone they meet online and to report suspected scams to his office.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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