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In addition to losing your money to someone who had no intention of ever visiting you, you may also have unknowingly taken part in a money laundering scheme by cashing phony checks and sending the money overseas and by shipping stolen merchandise (the forwarded package).

In another recently reported dating extortion scam, victims usually met someone on an online dating site and then were asked to move the conversation to a particular social networking site, where the talk often turned intimate.

These criminals—who also troll social media sites and chat rooms in search of romantic victims—usually claim to be Americans traveling or working abroad. While their most common targets are women over 40 who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled, but every age group and demographic is at risk. You’re contacted online by someone who appears interested in you.

He or she may have a profile you can read or a picture that is e-mailed to you.

If you believe you are the victim of an online dating scam or any Internet facilitated crime, please file a report at

Sorry to hear of your experience, and I hope sincerely that you are recovering or have recovered, and taken the hard lessons to heart.

Victims were later sent a link to a website where those conversations were posted, along with photos, their phone numbers, and claims that they were “cheaters.” In order to have that information removed, victims were told they could make a payment—but there is no indication that the other side of the bargain was upheld.

The profiles were fake as well, carefully crafted to match your interests.It always helps too if you click the "Report Spam" button while reading an email from someone you think is a spammer. I could see thru them right off the bat..you said..pretty to be real! Sid that he wanted to meet, that I was gorgeous and then left his email address and international cell phone number. What may seem ridiculous to most of us,some people are just very lonely and vulnerable. Just someone who needs to guard their kind heart a little more defensively.That helps us shut them down before they throw their bait to to more of our members. Anyone that knows about them, and how devastating they can be, will never fall prey to them. It's happened to me, too...in the hell do they think we are??? These guys said they are in love w/ me on the first email! One played it cool..& I were IMing for about a week..don't take long, he said he's from KY, but is currently in Africa w/ his daughter..was trying to get this job, but the people in Africa wanted him to pay them for his business!!! Anyway, he said that he gave them the money because it was a "sweet job" w/ lots of money potential and he didn't want to lose the account...he & his daughter were stuck w/ no money to pay the hotel bill and wanted me to help him out! Well, at the end of my profile, I let them all know that if that's their intentions..pass me by! I wrote back, I wrote, 'what do you want' He never wrote back hmmmmm......I bit abrasive? As long as we have the internet and telephones,these scammers will always be around!Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate.But as Valentine’s Day gets closer, the FBI wants to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams..

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