Consumer Affairs: Don’t Be Swindled When Online Dating - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Consumer Affairs: Don’t Be Swindled When Online Dating

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Howie Steffler knows exactly what he loves about his wife Darlene.  They met at a parade.

"Her smile and her contentment and her love for me," he said.

They've been married 37 years and it's exactly what many single people long for especially around Valentine's Day.

"I'm just looking for someone to be good to me," said Samantha Wallace.

But she wasn't fortunate enough to find her soul mate at a parade, instead she tried a different approach.  She tried online dating, and she said it was horrible.

"I don't think I got anything that wasn't derogatory," she said.

Gary Cordell the director of consumer affairs for Tennessee said she got off lucky because she didn't get scammed.

"They're looking for love but the love of money, the love of your money," he said.

Unfortunately, Gary said scam artists can hide on legitimate online dating sites.

"A lot of times they'll use a stolen ID, a name of somebody that sounds familiar, usually a photo that looks too good to be true," he said.

According to Gary, they prey on people they think they can take advantage of.

"These scam artists they'll use religion, they'll use politics, they'll use your patriotism, they've got a lot of lures and hooks," he said.

Samantha only stayed hooked for three months before she started looking for love in other places.

"The person I'm dating now I met on Facebook," she said.

Darlene Steffler and her husband Howie say be careful.

"You don't know what you're getting," said Darlene.

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