YAHOO NEWS - Feb 17 - In Britain, £24.5M is lost every year to online dating scams. That figure might be a serious underestimate, according to Mark Brooks, Editor of OnlinePersonalsWatch. Many victims are so ashamed and distraught that the perpetrator is never prosecuted.
Q: If you’ve ‘known’ each other for months, are you safe?
A: No. Scammers often do this full time. It usually takes a few months to build up to the 'I need money for a kidney operation or I'll die' type scam.
Q: Can you spot scammers by looking at their profiles?
A: The line of communication is the give away. If they want you to get off the dating site asap, that's a sign. People should do a video or real life date.
Q: Are there details I should leave off my profile, in case I’m targeted?
A: The religiously inclined are targeted. Older women are also targeted because its tough to find a hot older gentleman.
Q: I am worried my ‘new romance’ might not be what it seems - what can I do?
A: Call your local police department and notify the dating site. I like the 419eater.com approach.
Most dating sites have automated systems which root out scammers, using patterns of language - such as the word ‘wire’. There are certain kinds of profile that scammers do tend to use, i.e. ex-pats working abroad. Check their Facebook. Don't send money to someone you've never met.