Michigan woman duped in dating scam

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Here's a News 10 update on a story about Valentine's Day scams.

Police on the west side of Michigan say a woman was duped by a man online that she fell for.

Grand Rapids Police are reporting that a Kent County woman and a man were having constant romantic conversations online.

Police say the scammer even promised to visit the woman in Grand Rapids.

The woman ended up just being a pawn in the man's scam that resulted in dealing with fraudulent merchandise.

According to the Better Business Bureau, romance scammers typically reach out to their victims through dating sites, apps, or social media and often use fake profiles.

By using fake identities, scammers spend months grooming victims, often building what the victim thinks is a loving relationship, before asking for money to handle an emergency or travel expenses.

Ways you can protect yourself from online dating scams is first, slow down - talk to someone you trust and don't let someone rush you.

Never wire money, put money on a gift card or send cash to an online love interest.

If you do this and you think your money went to a scammer, call your bank right away.

And report your experience to the online dating service, the FTC, or the FBI.