Valentine’s heartbreak: Georgia model says criminals keep using her pictures for romance scams

ATLANTA — In light of Valentine’s Day, fraud investigators are warning people about online romance scams.

A new social media catfish study revealed that Americans lost more than $300 million to romance scammers in 2020.

That’s up from around $200 million dollars in 2019.

“It’s been pretty sad to see the amount of people getting scammed,” said model Megan Montenegro.

Montenegro said someone stole her modeling pictures from her social media page and then pretended to be her online.

The goal was to deceive people looking for love.


“They woo you and say everything that you want to hear, and the victim thinks that they’ve really found someone who loves them and then they start asking for money,” said Director of Clark Howard’s Consumer Action Center Lori Silverman.

Silverman said when dating online, never do three specific things.

“Wiring money and we always say never, ever wire money or give them access to your bank account or buy gift cards because you will never, ever get that money back,” Silverman said.

Montenegro said never meeting in person is also a red flag.

“Always verify their identity with a FaceTime call and don’t send money,” Montenegro said.