EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A new study from the Better Business Bureau says that the online love you found might actually be part of a scheme to take your money.
What officials call "Romance Scams" are a type of online fraud that preys on people who are looking for love through online dating sites.
BBB officials say that this type of online fraud spike around this time of year.
These schemes typically start on dating sites. Then, once offender gets you to trust them they begin asking for money.
Many cyber-criminals will use excuses such as an emergency or a sickness to convince their victims that they need the money. Some will even ask their target to break the law to get the money.
"They would sometimes send fake checks and sometimes ask the person to just deposit it at the bank," said Oana Schneider, BBB director of media services. "And because the banking system takes a couple of days to discover a fake check they would actually be able to cash it in. When the bank discovers that this was a bad check, the person that cashed it in is the only person responsible for this."
Schneider says that too many of the victims of these frauds the knowledge of what happened could be embarrassing.
"Once you go through something like this you think it's your fault," said Schneider. "Everybody always feels like I should have known better, I'm a smart person how could this happen to me; when getting scammed has nothing to do with you."
BBB officials warn cyber-criminals are getting more creative with how they ask for money.
If something feels suspicious, officials say to report it to the Better Business Bureau or your local officials.