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The Better Business Bureau warns of online dating scams

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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Swiping right on Tinder? That is now a thing of the past. The newest dating app comes from Facebook, where its goal is to match users based on preferences picked when creating their dating profile. The Better Business Bureau is warning that "catfishers" are matching with people to scam them out of money.

"When you are on these online dating sites and apps, just look for some of the red flags and be aware of what could be coming your way," said Jeremy Johnson, the eastern Idaho marketplace manager for the Better Business Bureau.

So how does the romance scam work?

People meet someone new online and start chatting. But then, when the time comes to meet face to face, the catfisher has something come up and they can't see the victim-- that is, unless the victim sends money to help. 

"We've seen people in eastern Idaho and southern Idaho that have lost $10,000 to $20,000 because sometimes the stories go on and on," Johnson said. "For example, they need to get out of Mexico, they've just had a medical emergency, they need money for a flight and that's where we see a huge loss."

According to the Better Business Bureau scam tracker, victims in Idaho lost an average of $16,630 to romance scams in 2018.

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