Romance Scammer Stories: One Online Dating Scam Romance Scammer Stories: One Online Dating Scam

Fbi online dating scams, in our online dating survey, 12 percent of people say they were conned

Suddenly, she wasn't tied up for hours every day.

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The photo showed a trim, silver-haired man of 61 with a salt-and-pepper beard and Wayfarer-style shades. His writing was like this, too — not just the British-style spellings of words such as "colour" and "favourite," but the way he dropped "sweetie" and "my dear" into every other sentence.

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How do you fall in love — really fall in love — with someone you never meet? Whoever Dwayne was, this wasn't him.

How on earth could you hand over your life savings to a stranger you met on the Internet, someone you've never even seen in real life?

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Then she saw this guy, the one with a mysterious profile name — darkandsugarclue. Sent first as printed letters, then as faxes and emails purporting to be from Nigerian officials, these offers are now part of Internet lore.

This seemed to be one of the problems with online dating.

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It had been over two years since the death of her husband of 20 years; four, since she had lost her mother. His was the first voice she heard in the morning, and the last before bed. In Australia, Hay has found that face-to-face victim support groups are helpful.

But this was different, a kind of manic euphoria. Think romance fraud on an industrial scale.

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He might not even exist. Dwayne finally contacted Amy three days later.

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In those first weeks, she exchanged messages and a few calls with men, and even met some for coffee or lunch. Back in college, she'd studied computer science and psychology, and she considered herself pretty tech-savvy. To her relief, she got a photo moments later.

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Born in neighboring Benin, he and his family moved to Nigeria during his childhood and went looking for opportunities in the emerging economic powerhouse of Africa's most populous nation.

It wasn't until the fall that Amy was ready to dive in. But nothing clicked — either they weren't her type or they weren't exactly who they said they were. Some of the most aggressive efforts to track down scammers have come from Australia.

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And he knew she was in love. The bureau received more than 15, reports linked to romance scams last year with more than half of those complaints involving losses of money.

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He promised not to call her anymore. Or was it Dwayne? Prayers answered and yes it does seem like we have known each other a long time.

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As of December1 in 10 American adults had used services such as Match. Still others work the late phases of the scam, impersonating bank officials or law enforcement in an effort to con victims who are trying to get their money back.

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She found his LinkedIn profile — it was short, with just a few connections.