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When the victim gets wise, the con artist gets scarce. But the increasing popularity of online dating gives them the perfect conditions to proliferate.
There are no statistics saying just how common scammers are on dating sites.
Beth Kipps, who has experimented with several dating sites, says the men who have attempted to con her almost always have a reason why they shouldn't continue to communicate via or e Harmony.
Most commonly, the excuse is "My membership on this site is almost up.
While the FBI and other federal partners work some of these cases—in particular those with a large number of victims or large dollar losses and/or those involving organized criminal groups—many are investigated by local and state authorities.
They'd hit it off right away, and he said he lived just outside of Phoenix, which seemed relatively proximate to a woman in remote Yuma, Ariz. First, he was traveling through India with his daughter.
Then the daughter became ill and had to be hospitalized.
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.
"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.