Danger signs of online dating

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"He said he was going to pay me back double," she laughs.Though the amounts and details of the scam vary from victim to victim, when it comes to romance scams, the con is almost always the same: The crook wants to get a besotted victim to wire money or provide access to a credit card.There are no statistics saying just how common scammers are on dating sites.But individuals who frequent them say scams are pervasive. Match.com, for instance, includes a disclaimer at the bottom of every onsite email between members, warning not to send money or provide credit card information to anyone you've met on the site." Moving off-site before launching a scam reduces the chance that you'll report the crook to the relevant site.

"The story was getting more and more bizarre," she says.

"You see this communication and think, 'Oh my gosh, I must be more attractive than I thought! They're also likely to target people with weight problems and those recovering from illnesses. Any of these issues might make you a bit more anxious about your ability to find love and potentially more receptive to the con.

The crook will then lavish you with attention and flattery.

"I probably hear from five scammers a night," says Marko Budgyk, a Los Angeles financier who has frequented several online dating sites over the past 10 years.

"After a while, it becomes really easy to spot them." Here are six red flags to help detect and sidestep romance scams.

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