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“And then he just disappeared.” But not everyone manages to escape an online romance scam unscathed.
According to the FBI, in the last six months of 2014 Americans lost more than million to online dating fraud in situations similar to the one Riolo recounted. When someone you haven’t met in person wants to quickly leave the dating site’s messaging apps—and the privacy they offer—to talk by phone or send messages to your email address.
And state and federal agencies have shut down several large romance scams in recent months, including a case in which two South Africans and a Canadian were extradited to the U. on charges of bilking hundreds of Americans of millions of dollars through romance scams and other financial fraud schemes.
Romance scams cost nearly 5,900 victims more than .7 million last year, according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
An impostor poses as the perfect suitor, lures a victim into a romance, then proceeds to loot his or her finances.