FBI warns of scammers targeting online daters

Posted at 12:17 AM, Jul 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-22 00:17:55-04

Suffolk, Va. - A 76-year old woman, who says she was scammed out of nearly $300,000 while using, is not alone, according to statistics from the FBI.

In the last six months of 2014, nearly 6,000 people were scammed through confidence or romance scams, costing them more than $80 million, the FBI reported.

Janet Cook says she reverse mortgaged her house to try and help a man she thought she was having a relationship with through the site, but it turned out to be a hoax.

"It could happen to anyone in the right situation," Cook told NewsChannel 3.

Cook thinks is partially responsible, claiming the site doesn't try to police for scammers. "I think that they have a lot of responsibility that they're allowing to go on and not policing it at all," Cook said.

In a statement, said that's not true and the site has a team that tries to block scammers. A representative also said users are asked to read a pledge stating: "To protect myself I promise never to send money or share financial information with other Match users. In addition, I pledge to report anyone who asks me for money or my financial information."

Cook admits she was naive, and says she doesn't remember the pledge. She has turned her focus to trying to warn others about these types of scams. "I wouldn't tryst anybody on it without doing some kind of background check and making sure they're legitimate."