It appears New Jersey is filled with romantics looking for love. But, according to a new study, those romantics may be a touch too naïve.

You've no doubt heard of "catfishing." Maybe you've seen the popular MTV reality series called Catfish thinking that could NEVER happen to you.

Get our free mobile app

But, if it's a novel idea to you, here's what "catfishing" means when it comes to affairs of the heart (according to Dictonary.com):

  • catfishing [ˈkatˌfiSHiNG], the process of luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona.
sandersammy/unsplash
sandersammy/unsplash
loading...
Example: "he was a victim of catfishing himself" 

There are thousands of schemers out there who take advantage of someone's affection for fun and even financial gain. Reportedly, romance scams have become the top type of fraud recorded by the Federal Trade Commission over the last five years.

markuswinkler/unsplash
markuswinkler/unsplash
loading...

Catfishing apparently happens so often in the Garden State that NJ ranks no. 6 in the nation for victims of the scam, according to SocialCatfish.com.

The study found that just last year, more than 500 love-seekers in New Jersey got catfished, to the tune of about $30 million, approximately $58,303 per victim. That's up $18M from 2020!

Social Catfish reports the most-catfished state in 2021 was California, with more than 3,000 victims in the last year.

Having watched The Tinder Swindler on Netflix, and the series Dirty John, it's clear that when someone is in love they'll sometimes do anything to keep that person around, even if it means giving them money, expensive gifts, or even control over their finances.

pablo hiemplatz/unsplash
pablo hiemplatz/unsplash
loading...

So, PROTECT YOUR HEART AND YOUR WALLET! And, if you think you or someone you know may be the victim of a romance scam, Social Catfish recommends contacting the FBI or the FTC.

9 of South Jersey's Worst Date Ever Stories

Some SoJO 104.9 listeners really had it rough when trying to make a love connection.

The Best First Date Spots in South Jersey

Looking to find a great spot to go on a date in South Jersey? We have a list of the best first date spots in the area.

5 Date Requests You Can Only Get In New Jersey