“There was one woman who got scammed for over a million dollars, her whole retirement nest egg,” says Farquhar.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.
The scammer might say that an immediate family member has a medical emergency and needs money for treatment, or that he has been wrongly arrested and needs help with bail money and legal support.
Run a search: Copy the images your online correspondent has posted to his or her profile, then run them through a reverse-image search engine, such as Tin Eye or Google Images.
If they come up associated to a person with another name or who lives in a different city, you have good reason to suspect they were stolen from someone else’s profile.
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A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigned romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud.
Experts say online daters are always wise to be skeptical regarding what someone they've met online, and not in the flesh, tells them.