(It is estimated that only 15 percent of fraud victims report their losses to law enforcement, so the real numbers are probably higher.) As one result, fear of a horrible first date is just one of the things a would-be online dater has to worry about. “Most people think the victims are middle-aged women who can't get a date, but I have worked with men and women of all ages—doctors and lawyers, CEOs of companies, people from the entertainment industry—who you’d never think in a million years would fall for these scams but do,” says Barb Sluppick, who runs romancescams.org, a watchdog site and online support group.According to the Consumer Reports 2016 Online Dating Survey of more than 114,000 subscribers, among the respondents who were considering online dating but were hesitant, 46 percent said they were concerned about being scammed. “Typically the scammer builds trust by writing long letters over weeks or months and crafting a whole persona for their victims,” says Unit Chief David Farquhar from the Financial Crimes Section of the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) who specializes in cyber-related crimes.Here are the four most common dating scams and what you can do to avoid them.Just like face-to-face dating, singles online try to put their best foot forward.Her new boyfriend had a complicated backstory: He was an American soldier serving in Iraq, and he had a son living in Ghana.But she had revealed to her new online beau how much she wanted children, and soon his 14-year-old son was emailing her.
He suggested they ditch the dating site and switch to email.According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, online romance scams account for higher financial losses than any other internet-based crime.It’s not uncommon for victims to lose tens of thousands of dollars. Although some of these scams are certainly predictable, others are less so (especially the third and fourth scams).Naturally, we offer tips to help you protect yourself from these online dating scams.