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Consumer Alert: Catfishing claims more victims in California than any other state

FBI records show reported cases of Catfishing have jumped by 52% over the past three years.

SAN DIEGO — If you or someone you know is online dating, there is some important information you need to be aware of. According to the Better Business Bureau, one in every seven online dating profiles is fake.

When it comes to catfishing, California has more victims than any other state. Catfishing is when someone creates a fake online profile, to gain your trust and eventually swindle you out of your money. FBI records show reported cases of catfishing have jumped by 52% over the past three years.

How do you stop this from happening to you?

  • Number 1: Try to keep your conversation with someone strictly on the dating app for as long as possible. Once you share your social media pages and phone number, a lot more of your personal information is now available to a potential scammer.
  • Number 2: Be wary of someone appearing to seek out your passwords. The may be asking for your mother's maiden name or the name of your first pet.
  • Number 3: Never send money to someone you have never met in person. And, be suspect of someone asking for a wire transfer or to purchase them gift cards.
  • Number 4: If you do suspect you are the victim of Catfishing, report it. Sadly, studies show that only 10% of victims actually call the authorities.

According to the FBI internet Crime Report, the total amount of money lost to Catfishing in 2018 in the U.S. was $323,952,461. That's more than four times as much as the amount lost to credit card fraud in the same year.