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Scams Preying on the Lovelorn

roses.jpgValentine's day is quickly approaching. For many people, that means buying gifts for a loved one, or finding a date.

One of the most popular gifts for Valentine's Day is flowers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were over 18,000 florists in the United States in 2008. Be a smart consumer! The FTC has put together an alert of warning signs that the florist you're using might be a company posing as a local florist to scam you out of money.

Another popular way of celebrating the holiday is by going on a date with your spouse or partner. Millions of Americans use dating websites to look for love. If you use these sites, watch out for scams. OnGuard Online, a tip center sponsored by several U.S. agencies including the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Education, has created a list of tips to help you avoid dating scams. Requests for money or access to personal email accounts early in an online relationship could be warning signs.

You can file a complaint online against an individual or business you might suspect is deceiving customers out of money or call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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