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“That big investment gives victims a false sense that the relationship must be real.” Eventually a pitch for money comes.
Often the scammer will say an emergency situation has arisen and money is needed fast to avoid dire consequences.
“There was one woman who got scammed for over a million dollars, her whole retirement nest egg,” Farquhar says.
The CR survey found that 35 percent of respondents who’ve tried online dating felt they had been grossly misled by someone’s online profile, and 12 percent said they’d been scammed.
Later, when she puzzled over their relationship, she'd remember this. That had been a fateful move; it made everything easier for him. After the funeral, a grief counselor told her to make no sudden changes in her life for at least a year, and she followed that advice.
Two sharp blows that had left her alone in her late 50s. His cancer took him swiftly, before she had time to process what was happening.
And if you’ve been communicating with someone by email, check their address at a site such as Romance Scams, which compiles lists of email addresses belonging to known scammers. Type the name of the person you met online into Google or Bing and see what comes up. If you are asked to send money and feel so inclined, run the whole scenario by someone you trust.
But who knew exactly how these online dating services worked?
Then she saw this guy, the one with a mysterious profile name — darkandsugarclue.
According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud.
In 2016, the last year for which data is available, consumers lost more than 0 million this way.