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Phony Online Sweetheart Scam

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Con artists prey on those who are looking for love, leaving plenty of victims in the tri-state.

Monday night authorities are getting the warning out.  It's called the Sweetheart Scam and agents with the Ohio Attorney General office say they've investigated dozens of the phony online relationships in the last couple of years.

Here's how it works: a person courting the victim online asks for money and it's sent to someone who never even existed.

The highest loss reported in Ohio is more than 200,000 dollars.

Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General, said, They'll send flowers, teddy bears, all the things when in a relationship, but they never meet. Never see the other person. Then one day that fictitious person, that scammer, needs money right away.

DeWine says anyone in an online relationship needs do their own internet search on the person. With the Sweetheart Scam, once money is sent, usually by wire transfer, it is nearly impossible to recover.

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