RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — The Better Business Bureau serving Central Virginia is offering some tips to avoid falling victim to scams this Valentine’s Day.

One such scam is called catfishing, in which scammers work to dupe online dating site users into believing they have found love.

According to the BBB, online dating and social media platforms have made it easier than ever to meet new people and it has made a scammer’s task easier.

Scammers can easily create compelling backstories and full-fledged identities and then trick someone into falling in love with that fake person.

While a catfisher can be a lonely person hiding behind a fake persona, it is often the first step in a phishing scheme that aims to take personal information or trick people out of money.

Catfishers can build fake dating site profiles by stealing photos and text from real accounts or other online sources, often claiming to be in the military or working overseas as a reason why they cannot meet their potential victim in person.

In a short time, a scammer can build a fake relationship with a victim, exchange photos and messages or talk over the phone, but just as the relationship appears to get serious, there is a health issue, family emergency, or wants to plan a visit.

In every instance, the scammer will say they need money.

Sometimes the scammer will make multiple demands for money or will cut off communication altogether.

The BBB says there are ways to spot this kind of scam, such as…