No one should ever fall for a scam. After the 2020 derecho, there were plenty of cruel opportunists who descended on Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities, preying on people in need.

These are the types of scams we're often warned to try hard to avoid. But another type of scam is also worth noting: love scams. Often, these take the form of catfishing.

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If you're not familiar with that term, it simply means a scammer is trying to fish for a victim, and they're generally out for money, or something nefarious. (Think Tinder Swindler, or the MTV show "Catfished".

Photo by Lauren Richmond on Unsplash
Photo by Lauren Richmond on Unsplash
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Luckily, Iowans appear to be smarter than the average money-grubbing romance scammer. Turns out, according to a study from Social Catfish, that Iowa is the state with folks that are the seventh least likely to fall for such a scam. The same study, which uses data from 2021, says that Iowans that are scammed lose an average of $107,682 (per 100,000 people).

No other Midwestern state is even close. In fact, a fellow Midwestern state is actually the MOST likely to have its residents get scammed by a catfisher..man or a catfisherwoman.

That state is North Dakotah where per 100,000 people, the average loss is a whopping $1,558,064.

Who's falling for these scams?

The demographic of people being scammed may surprise you: it's actually teens. Social Catfish says that just last year, teens lost an astonishing $101 million to romance scams. That is way up from $71 million in 2020.

Experts warn you should never send money, cryptocurrency, or gift cards (a common scammer request) to anyone you don't know well. You should always meet someone and assure that they are who they say they are before you ever give them any sort of monetary gift.

Sounds like, for the most part, Iowans are doing just that.

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