Attorney General warns of 'catfishing' scams

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - People who use online dating sites and social media need to be cautious of online "catfishing" scams, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said Monday.

According to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, a "catfish" is defined as "a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes."

In advance of Valentine's Day, Beshear issued a scam alert to warn people that if a new online contact asks for money, it is most likely a scam.

The Attorney General's office says they received 11 reports last year from Kentuckians who were scammed out of nearly $300,000.

We are our brother’s and sister’s keepers and this rings especially true when it comes to preventing our loved ones from falling victim to scams,” said Beshear. “One of the best ways to prevent a ‘catfishing’ scam is to simply take time to check in on our friends and family and ask about any new or online relationships.”

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