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Online Dating Scams: How Scammers are Scoring Millions
By KeriLynn Engel,
Who Is Hosting This, 22 September 2015.

People tend romanticize the past, but when it comes to the romantic institution of marriage, the “romantic” part is actually a much more recent phenomenon.

Marriage today is completely different than all throughout history. In the past, it was a means of uniting families together; it’s only recently that we began thinking of marriage as a love match. Pretty much everything you know about marriage is wrong, and there are plenty of pitfalls to creating a lifelong partnership with the person you love that history can’t help you solve…

…not the least of which is finding someone to fall in love with in the first place.

Today’s world of online dating makes it much easier to search for a match, but it also makes it easy for scammers to search for targets.

Opening yourself up emotionally, especially on a public online profile, takes a lot of courage and trust. But you also need to balance that openness with some wariness and healthy scepticism, or you could be taken advantage of.

Criminals find it easy to target people on dating sites, based on the wealth of personal information people include on their profiles. They then create their own attractive fake profiles to reel in their unsuspecting targets by striking up a conversation, quickly professing their love, and making plans to meet. At the last moment, their plans fall through due to tragedy - and only your money can bail them out so you can meet at last.

Online dating fraud has been increasing along with the popularity of online dating, costing the public millions of dollars every year. Some experts estimate that as many as 1 in 10 online profiles aren’t real people, but scammers. The numbers are likely to be even higher in reality, since many people don’t report due to embarrassment.

Need to protect yourself while dating online? Here are common scams to watch out for, so you can find your true love and give away your heart, but not your wallet.

How Fraudsters are Scoring Millions

Infographic Sources:
The Spanish Prisoner Scam: Alive and Well on the Internet
2. I Was a Victim of an Online Dating Scam
3. Looking for Love? Beware of Online Dating Scams
4, Romance Fraud Scams Continue to Rise
5. Older Women Most Likely to Click with Online Romance Scam Artists
6. Online Romance Turns Sour as Victoria Victim Loses $88,000 in Scam
7. Scams cost Australians $89 million in 2013, says Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
8. ‘Romance Fraud’: Woman Accused of Swindling Millions from Men Through Online Dating Sites
9. Fraud Gang Posed as Lovestruck Lonely Hearts to Con Hundreds of Thousands of Pounds out of Hapless Victims on Dating Websites
10. Romance Scam Victim Tells Her Story to Prevent Further Crimes
11. Welcome to Romance Scam!
12. Profiles of Scammers and Fakes
13. The Official Romance Scams Website
14. Dating & Romance
15. National Conference of State Legislatures
16. Online Dating Leads To Higher Marriage Satisfaction, Lower Divorce Rates: Study

Top image credit: Don Hankins/Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

[Source: Who Is Hosting This. Edited. Top image added.]