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She wants me to send money to buy one via her money transfer account. Just over a year ago, the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—had pleaded guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites.
This makes it hard for the victim to do due diligence.
According to a recent Consumer Reports 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 David Farquhar, Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI.
“That big investment gives victims a false sense that the relationship must be real.” Eventually a pitch for money comes.
The CR survey found that 35 percent of respondents who’ve tried online dating felt they had been grossly misled by someone’s online profile, and 12 percent said they’d been scammed.
Experts say online daters are always wise to be skeptical regarding what someone they’ve met online, and not in the flesh, tells them.