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For starters, plug their emails into a search engine. " Scammers can counterfeit anything from dating site profiles to photos, email addresses, even seemingly official documents. "There's no way you can verify what's on the other end of a keyboard," Williams said.
"If you're at the point where you think, ' I want to share my innermost secrets with this person,' you should meet the person within three days.
The scammers are nasty, heartless, ruthless people. They run into problems — maybe an incident on the job site, or an accident involving a teenage son. "The scammers are so experienced in what they do, because they do what they do on such a massive scale," Williams said.
But they're good at what they do." And the stories are all too often the same. "They're running the same scam with 1,000 people at the same time." If you don't pony up the cash, the con artist could use your racy photos or adult-themed conversations to extort the money from you.
"We all think we're unique, but really we're not.
We all want the same things — to love and be loved.
They also weed out people who don't want a long-term relationship, or those with whom you're basically incompatible — say, people with vastly different educational backgrounds or religious beliefs. Daniel Williams with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre said most victims are over 40, fresh out of a long-term relationship and haven't dated for decades.
"People have elaborate laundry lists of qualities they think they want in a partner, and they like online dating profiles that fit this laundry list," Eastwick said."You should be sharing only information you'd be happy to share on a 35-foot billboard above your home," Williams said.The scams are easy enough to dodge — all it takes is 15 minutes. It's how much money can we make, so how little can we put out?Take the 2012 article Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science.The study's authors sifted through decades of research about what makes people romantically compatible.