Gardaí are asking people to be on their guard for romance fraud this Valentine's Day.
They are warning them not to share personal details online, or to share or receive money online.
Romance fraudsters may try to get their victims to send money to cover the cost of travelling to see them, or for emergency medical expenses for the scammer or a family member - typically a child.
While an ever-increasing scam is getting victims to invest in an apparent business opportunity, which would allow them to live together comfortably.
In one such case last year, a 51-year-old woman believed she was in an online relationship with a man - and agreed to transfer €90,000 to him in the belief that it was a loan for his business.
She now believes this to be a case of fraud.
Michael Cryan is detective superintendent at the National Economic Crime Bureau.
He told Newstalk Breakfast such scams are on the rise.
"There was a 86% increase in romance fraud reports in 2021.
"About 70% of the victims are female, and there was €1.5m reported stolen last year alone."
He says many will eventually look for money for some reason or another.
"Financial grooming is a term that's used there.
"These are professional fraudsters - they will say the right things, they will use the right language to build up trust.
"They will look for your address to send you flowers - coming across as the perfect person.
"So you don't want to find mistakes or errors".
However such scams are impacting on younger and younger age groups.
The average victim is 47, and international research suggests more than one in four victims are in their 20s and 30s.
Supt Cryan this is likely down to the pandemic, and the increasing sophistication of these scams.
"You weren't allowed to go and visit friends or even meet your family.
"So suddenly this was somebody who possibly kept you sane, and now what we're seeing as well is they are offering financial advice.
"So they're saying 'Oh here's a great opportunity to invest in cryptocurrency' and they get them to download apps.
"One of them is called AnyDesk, and it allows the fraudster take control of your computer and allows them move money out of your bank account".
Anyone who believes they have been a victim of a romance scam, or think their identity or personal information has been compromised, should contact any Garda station and report the crime.