FBI warns of dating site scams

PORTLAND (WGME) – Every year millions of Americans log on to online dating websites, looking for love.

The FBI is renewing its warning, that criminals are using these sites, too, looking to turn "lonely" into fast money.

Patricia Williams admits she was lonely and vulnerable after losing her mother and husband, all within six-months. A friend recommended she go to an online dating site. When she did, she met a man she thought was in the military abroad.

“He listened to my woes, what I had been through with my Mom and my husband's, loss of my husband,” Williams said.

They wrote back and forth for several months when he asked if she could help pay for him to come to the U.S.

He kept asking and promised he'd pay her back.

He sent her thousands of dollars in checks as so-called reimbursement, but they were fake. That's when Patricia realized this was all a scam.

Federal investigators say this is a classic romance scam and it's important for all consumers using social networking sites to keep communications on the website.

The FBI says, don't send money through any wire transfer service to someone you met online.

It's nearly impossible to ever get that money back.