Consumer Alert: Looking for love in all the wrong places can cost you. How to spot a robbing Romeo

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — I begin today’s consumer alert with a warning about looking for love in all the wrong places. The pandemic has put our purses in peril. Guys, your wallets are faring no better.

A recent report from the FTC indicates last year consumers lost a record $304 million in romance scams.

That’s 50% higher than the year before. And here’s why. During the pandemic, we’ve been lonely and locked up. That’s a bad combination, and the FTC says while some met the bad guy or gal on a dating app, the majority of people met the scammer on social media.

First, he’s all lovey-dovey, then the robbing Romeo comes up with the all-too-predictable tale of woe and begs his new-found flame for funds. And romance robbers usually want victims to send the funds through a wire transfer or gift cards. In both cases, recovering your money is almost impossible.

Here are some signs that an online cutie is a crook:

  1. He professes his love quickly, even though he’s not met you in person.
  2. He needs money for an emergency, like a medical bill, a funeral, or travel.
  3. He says he’s making plans to visit you but always comes up with an excuse to cancel.

The FTC has more information for recognizing romance scams. Click here.

Here’s Deanna’s Do List for online dating.

  1. Scammers use a fake picture. So do a google image search of their picture to see if they’ve nabbed it off the internet.
    • Here are directions:
      • Copy and save the suitor’s picture.
      • On Google’s home page, click "Images" in the upper right-hand corner.
      • Click on the camera image to search by image.
      • Upload the picture and click the blue bar that reads “Search by Image”
  2. Never send money for any reason.
  3. If you have sent money, report it to the FTC.

Your heavy-duty diesel Ram truck could catch fire

This last story is for the farmers in our viewing area because few other folks are going to need a heavy-duty diesel truck that can tow up to 35,000 pounds. Yep, the heavy-duty diesel Ram truck is one Big Bertha, and if you have one you need to park it outside. That’s right, move it away from the house and the barn because Bertha can catch fire.

Stellantis, the company that now manufactures the truck is recalling just more than 20,000 of the trucks in the U.S. and Canada. The 2021 model has heat relays that can overheat, even when the engine is turned off. Don’t call your dealer, because they don’t have parts for the repair yet. The recall will likely start on April 30.

The manufacturer says this problem is rare, but they do want you to park the truck away from the house for now.

And that’s your consumer alert.