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In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over £300,000 (5,300) through online dating sites.
He had convinced them that he was a diplomat and that a US marine general had fallen in love with them, causing one woman to pawn jewelry, empty her life savings, sell her car, and take out loans to help this general move to the UK. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming “industry” was worth over million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.
If someone was expressing over-the-top love and passion within a couple weeks, you’d be worried.
Early on in a courting relationship, you’ll probably ask a lot of questions, even basic ones like “how tall are you? ” If the person you’re talking to is avoiding these basic questions, that should be a big red flag.
People are often ashamed to come forward and admit that they’ve been duped.
It’s not a good feeling to have been taken advantage of, and a scheme that’s so obvious in hindsight is even harder to admit to. If you date online, take precautions to protect yourself.
Think about if you would find it strange for someone to be acting like this if you just met in real life.
It’s possible that it’s someone looking for an affair on a dating site The Internet seems ecstatic about the Ashley Madison hack, with millions of adulterers' and potential adulterers' details hacked and released online, with articles outing individuals found in the data dump. Even if someone’s profile looks legit, there are other signs to keep an eye out for, especially during the beginning of your communication.
For example, scammers will often ask you to communicate with them outside of the dating site—via email, through Facebook, or even on Skype.
Again, both men and women can and have fallen victim to online dating scammers, but women tend to be targeted more aggressively.
Interestingly, the AARP says that men fall victim to these scams more often, but that women are more likely to report the scam.
Online dating websites aren’t the most secure Discreet online dating site Ashley Madison (targeted primarily at cheating spouses) has been hacked.