Some who were scammed felt embarrassed about being duped, while others didn't want to admit using a dating site.
Dating websites are the perfect place for scammers.
And if you're looking for love in an online dating site you must be extra-careful, because looking for love already leaves you emotionally vulnerable, but you can't let that vulnerability bleed over into other realms as well. Songs are sung about either finding it or recovering from it, screen writers send story lines on unrealistic tangents to secure romantic endings, and books are filled with characters searching and pining for it.
But in the last decade or so, the game of looking for love has gotten some new rules, with the venue moving from the bar world to the the cyber world.
While most users are searching for love, Internet scammers are searching for victims.
Consumers use sites like Christian Mingle and , much differently than they use Amazon or i Tunes, for example.
Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate.
But as Valentine’s Day gets closer, the FBI wants to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams..
In addition to losing your money to someone who had no intention of ever visiting you, you may also have unknowingly taken part in a money laundering scheme by cashing phony checks and sending the money overseas and by shipping stolen merchandise (the forwarded package).
In another recently reported dating extortion scam, victims usually met someone on an online dating site and then were asked to move the conversation to a particular social networking site, where the talk often turned intimate.
But when people use a dating site, they sometimes bring emotions, vulnerability, or feelings of loneliness along in their dating search.
This is an ideal situation for the Internet scammer, as they typically count on people to be preoccupied with achieving positive online dating results.
Victims were later sent a link to a website where those conversations were posted, along with photos, their phone numbers, and claims that they were “cheaters.” In order to have that information removed, victims were told they could make a payment—but there is no indication that the other side of the bargain was upheld.