Victims of online dating scams

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), complaints about impostor ploys such as the romance scam more than doubled between 20.

The FBI says that Americans lost some million to online-dating fraud in just the last six months of 2014.

But as financial crimes go, the love con was a rare breed, too time- and labor-intensive to carry out in large numbers.

It could take months or years of dedicated persuasion to pull off a single sting. Technology has streamlined communication, given scammers powerful new tools of deceit and opened up a vast pool of potential victims.

*Names have been changed to protect identities En español She wrote him first. In the summer, when the trees leafed out, you couldn't even see the road or the neighbors. She'd grown up here, in a conservative pocket of Virginia. When it came to meeting new people, however, her choices were limited. The holidays were coming, and she didn't want to face them alone.

A short message sent on a Thursday evening in early December 2013, under the subject line: Match? She signed up for a six-month subscription to Match.com, the largest and one of the oldest dating services on the Web.

The picture — outdoor photo, big smile — was real, and recent.

I think it is always best to be whom we are and not mislead others." By December 17, they had exchanged eight more emails. Two sharp blows that had left her alone in her late 50s. His cancer took him swiftly, before she had time to process what was happening. It had been over two years since the death of her husband of 20 years; four, since she had lost her mother.She had a website for her business, was on Facebook, carried a smartphone.But who knew exactly how these online dating services worked?

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