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This makes it hard for the victim to do due diligence.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.Just over a year ago, the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—had pleaded guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites.While the case was remarkable for its magnitude, when it comes to so-called “romance scams,” it still represents just the tip of the iceberg.It's the newest evolution of the Nigerian advance fee (419) scam.Instead of sending spam letters that promise millions for your assistance, these scammers are targeting single men and women who are searching for love online.
Internet romance scams and other related crimes are affecting and ruining lives throughout the world. The more people that are educated in the way the scams work, the harder it is for the scammers to make money and the more scammers that can be put out of business.Experts say online daters are always wise to be skeptical regarding what someone they’ve met online, and not in the flesh, tells them.Most dating websites—even ones that cost money—don’t vet the people who sign up.If the images come up associated with a person who has another name or lives in a different city, you have good reason to suspect they were stolen from someone else’s profile.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.