Looking for a Valentine online? Beware of scams

Posted at 6:57 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 18:58:56-05

CINCINNATI -- Mary Rogers Miller thought she met the perfect man almost instantly after signing up for a dating website.

The widower, building construction engineer and devout Catholic who said he lived in a city just a little ways North told her he wanted honesty and trust, Miller said.

Things were going so well, he deleted his profile and texted and emailed her to stay in contact.

"He'd be like, 'Mary, I love you so much I want you to be a part of my life. You're in my dreams, but I want you to be a part of my life," she said. "It was creepy. It was was worse than a romance novel."

At that point, Miller said she knew it was a scam. But she stayed in contact to try to catch him in the act.

Sure enough, she said, he then asked her for favors -- to wire money while he was abroad, asking for a photo of her driver's license and social security card.

Experts say that scammers, like this one, will create fake identities tailored to specific dating profiles. And according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the average victim will lose $26,000 in an online romance scam.

"People want to be in a relationship. It's a great thing of course when you find the right person," Miller said. "You're going to develop feelings if you're in a vulnerable spot, so of course he was taking advantage of that and preying on that. "

Watch the video above for more.