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“And the smartest person can be taken in during the early stages of the dating process.
Except now it’s more sophisticated and easier for someone to lie and cheat and fabricate because they can pretty much change their identity to make it fit a new reality.” Scammers, Levin said, “are experts at presentation of self.
And it’s so much easier for someone to do that online.” It’s unclear how many people across the United States have been caught up in so-called romance schemes, although the FBI and the FTC have both issued warnings against them.
“Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate,” the FBI said just before Valentine’s Day, adding that “the FBI wants to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams.” [How well online dating works, according to someone who has been studying it for years] Most victims walk away with lightened pockets and broken hearts.
In November, the Boston Police Department warned daters to be wary of people they met online after robbers targeted victims who thought they were meeting a romantic interest at a specific address.
Using the lure of Internet love to get money from unsuspecting people is a scam as old as the Web itself.In June, robbery victims in Florida told police they had shown up at hotels in Oldmar and Clearwater expecting to meet a woman with the screen name “Curvy Cameron 93.” She never showed; instead, two men with guns held the victims up, according to NBC affiliate WFLA.Detectives told WFLA that they feared that victims would be afraid to come forward because they would be embarrassed telling people how they got robbed.That same month, a 36-year-old man was robbed in Ohio after getting together with a woman he met on Plenty Of Fish, according to As the victim escorted the woman known as “Nikki” to his car, a man with a gun appeared and the pair robbed the victim of 0, then ran away.