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In August, a British man was sent to jail after defrauding two women of over £300,000 (5,300) through online dating sites.He had convinced them that he was a diplomat and that a US marine general had fallen in love with them, causing one woman to pawn jewelry, empty her life savings, sell her car, and take out loans to help this general move to the UK. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming “industry” was worth over million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.
Interestingly, the AARP says that men fall victim to these scams more often, but that women are more likely to report the scam.
For a shorter, general overview, see An introduction to love or dating scams If you have started communicating with someone online, and he or she matches many of the characteristics described in this thread, you are most likely dealing with a scammer.
Please be aware that not all scammers are alike--if you are in an online relationship with someone who doesn't have many of these characteristics, it is still important to use caution, and be alert for signs that something "isn't right."Remember: What other things should you look out for?
Fortunately, many of these scammers share common characteristics.
Understanding and recognizing these characteristics can help you to identify many scammers from the start.