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Fraud on internet dating sites

(I know; red flag.) “He even called me, calling me ‘Mom’ a few times,” she says.

Then, after about a week of heavy correspondence, Firefly’s boyfriend announced his son’s birthday was coming up, and suggested she send him a gift. It was pretty gratifying, she says; the son was ecstatic.

Five years ago, he and a small team of international volunteers, including Firefly, created Scam Survivors, a hotline and information resource center for victims of online scams — mostly, as it turns out, romance scams. “With the romance scam, it could be someone who's been married for a number of years.

The site tends to be a last resort for victims who are afraid to go to the police, or to tell anyone in their life what’s happened, because they’re ashamed. Their partner has either died or they've divorced and they've just started looking at online dating.

Within 10 minutes of posting, she had a handful of virtual suitors — and one stood out.

He suggested they ditch the dating site and switch to email.

Whatever you do, he adds, don’t ever pay them — that will only make a scammer more aggressive.

As for Firefly, she now refuses to date anyone she doesn’t meet the old-fashioned way, face to face.Members can constrain their interactions to the online space, or they can arrange a date to meet in person.A great diversity of online dating services currently exists.Five years ago, an Austrian woman decided to give online dating a try.(She asked that I only use her internet handle, Firefly, for reasons that will soon become clear.) It had been about a year since Firefly got divorced.“My friends advised me to go online and try to find someone to share my life with,” she says via Skype.Firefly spent a lot of time on her profile, thinking she needed to be entirely honest and open if she hoped to really connect with someone.An online dating service is a company that provides specific mechanisms (generally websites or applications) for online dating through the use of Internet-connected personal computers or mobile devices.Such companies offer a wide variety of unmoderated matchmaking services, most of which are profile-based.But soon after, she learned that the son had had an accident at school and needed help paying hospital bills — urgently.“Of course I was sending money again to Western Union,” Firefly says.

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