Criminals are using social media and dating apps to exploit victims.
Gardai in the midlands are warning people to be on their guard against 'romance scams', in the run up to Valentines Day.
Criminals often use dating sites, apps or social media to encourage their victims to send money or reveal personal information, which can be used to blackmail them or steal their identities.
Ulster Bank says it's staff are being given special training to spot red flags and identify romance scams, allowing them to give advice and support to customers.
Crime prevention Officer in Westmeath Sgt. John McWalter says anyone meeting up with a stranger should be cautious: