We get an education every time that Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) visits with the WROK Morning Show.

This week, Dennis filled us in on some of the latest and nastiest scams that are taking place in and around the Rockford area. For anyone who thinks that scammers ignore our area and go for more populous spots, you couldn't be more wrong.

With our current level of dependence on electronic devices, it doesn't have to be someone local who's trying to take advantage of you, it could come from anywhere in the world. If you're digitally connected as most, if not all of us are, you could find yourself in a scammers crosshairs.

Here's a quick look at the "Romance Scam With A Twist" that Dennis and the Rockford BBB says is working its way through the Rockford area:

Romance scams are nothing new. The old "trick someone into falling in love with you then fleece them for anything you can get" model still exists and is continuing to claim victims, but a new twist on the scam is even more insidious.

Here's how this new variation works. You sign up for a dating service that seems legitimate. The site asks you to fill out a profile with your personal information. This includes your credit card number, which is used to pay for your membership. Then you begin to get contacted by other "members" of the dating site with incomplete profiles, no photos, and who don't fit with what you said you were looking for.

Dennis Horton, Rockford BBB:

“It turns out that these other daters aren’t real! The site is filled with phony profiles make you think that the site has many members. Once you figure out the hoax, you try to cancel your membership, but the site just keeps billing you."

As the BBB puts it, this is a romance scam where literally everything is fake. There are more angles to this scam than I have space to tell you about, but if you want to learn more and pick up some ways to protect yourself, click here.

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