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Victim advocates say the true cost of romance scams is probably much higher than official estimates because victims, men in particular, often stay silent out of shame.Although older adults are often targeted — more than three-quarters of complaints to federal agencies came from people 40 and older — fraud experts say people of all ages and backgrounds can fall prey to romance scams.Most services offer digital messaging, while others provide additional services such as webcasts, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards.Members can constrain their interactions to the online space, or they can arrange a date to meet in person.Online dating (or Internet dating) is a system that enables strangers to find and introduce themselves to new personal connections over the Internet, usually with the goal of developing personal, romantic, or sexual relationships.An online dating service is a company that provides specific mechanisms (generally websites or applications) for online dating through the use of Internet-connected personal computers or mobile devices.According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud.In 2015, the last year for which data is available, consumers lost more than 0 million this way.
Once you send them money, the fraudsters will keep coming back and invent new reasons to send them more.A great diversity of online dating services currently exists.Some have a broad membership base of diverse users looking for many different types of relationships.Fraudsters may also use the conversations you have to find out enough personal information about you to commit identity fraud.
They’ll ask innocent-looking questions about you that make it look like they just want to get to know you, such as your date of birth, home address or family background.
Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.