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Attorney General warns of 'sweetheart scams'

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Love is easier to find than ever, with online dating sites and social media. But the Attorney General's Office warns some cupids are aiming straight for your bank account.

These days, love is just a click away. But while your head is in the clouds, your online sweetie may be in your wallet.

The North Carolina Attorney General's Office warns this Valentine's Day of sweetheart scams.

It works like this: con artists on sites like Facebook, Christian Mingle and Match.com pretend to fall in love with lonely people. They gain their trust and tell them they have an emergency need for wired money, usually while traveling or working overseas.

The AG's office heard from 25 victims of these sweetheart scams last year who combined lost more than $2 million. Investigators say one North Carolina woman lost more than $1 million to a man who "friended" her on Facebook.He conned his new love into sending money overseas with the promise of one day moving to North Carolina to marry her.

And we won't soon forget the poster child of catfish traps, Manti Te'o. The Notre Dame linebacker says he was duped into an online relationship with a girl, who never existed.

All of this to say, if you get hooked online by the man or woman of your dreams, think twice before you start shelling out your cash.

If you think you're a victim of an online dating scam, you can call the Attorney General's Office.

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