KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — An expert with the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee Office on Aging shared some warnings they had for senior citizens this Valentine’s Day week, adding older adults in the community can often fall victim to romance scams.

Sasha Hammett with the Office on Aging spoke about romance scams and what red flags people can look for when seeking love online. Romance scams on the web often include fake profiles and requests for money.

“As soon as they start asking for money, that should be your biggest red flag that this is probably not a real person,” Hammett said.

Hammett also advised that senior citizens use Google to search for the person and investigate in order to verify that the person on the other end of the conversation is real. Hammett also shared that she had read the Federal Trade Commission released data last year reporting that 73,000 people reported romance scams instances nationwide.

Hammett shared what they’ve seen in the East Tennessee region in addition to warning signs people need to be on the lookout for. Hammett also noted that family members of senior citizens can possibly help deter would-be romance scammers.

“The more lonely and isolated they are, the more likely they are to fall victim,” she said. “If you’re checking in and keeping tabs on them, they’ll probably be ok.”