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Don’t disclose your last name, your address, your place of work or other personal details until you meet your love interest in person. You also can copy portions of emails a love interest has sent and use an online search engine to see if the text appears elsewhere, because many scammers work off scripts, Nofziger says.

Western Union received at least 44,500 complaints about online dating and romance scams, with losses totaling at least million, between 20, the FTC’s Todd Kossow says.Amy Nofziger, regional director of the AARP Foundation, explained how a romance scam works: The scammer will often say he or she is from the United States, but is traveling or working overseas, and will quickly profess his or her love for you.The scammer often will make excuses for why he or she can’t talk on the phone, or will make – and then cancel – plans to meet you.The scammer then will claim there has been an emergency and he or she needs money.If you’ve fallen victim to a romance scammer, here are some ways to start regaining control of your financial life.

File a complaint: Federal Trade Commission: Call 877-FTC-Help, or file a complaint online.

He had spent nearly a year behind bars after being duped into believing he was transporting real estate papers from South America to London for a woman he’d met online.

In reality, the package contained about 2 kilograms of cocaine. The scammer might ask you to open a new bank account.

People looking for love online should hold on to their wallets.

More than 12,500 people filed romance scam complaints with the FBI in 2015, losing more than 0 million to fraudsters. Here’s how it works: Romance scammers might persuade you to drain your bank accounts, max out your credit cards or even sell your home – all to send them the cash. You could unwittingly become part of money laundering or drug trafficking schemes.

If you become suspicious of your scammer, the fraudster may threaten to send the video to your friends, family, workplace or church if you won’t send money. If the scammers do send the video, they won’t get any cash.