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This leaves many victims not only embarrassed but also in financial distress.
It is important for online users to be on the look-out for online dating and romance scams.
(It is estimated that only 15 percent of fraud victims report their losses to law enforcement, so the real numbers are probably higher.) As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about. “Most people think the victims are middle-aged women who can't get a date, but I have worked with men and women of all ages—doctors and lawyers, CEOs of companies, people from the entertainment industry—who you’d never think in a million years would fall for these scams but do,” says Barb Sluppick, who runs romancescams.org, a watchdog site and online support group.
For instance, some romance scammers express concern about their financial situation or ability to visit the victim in the hopes that a person will offer to send funds.
In the second instance, the scammer asks for money directly.
Some scam artists use bogus profiles to con the people they meet out of hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Criminals who perpetrate online dating and romance scams use emotional appeals to quickly gain their victims’ trust and then, just as quickly, exploit it.