Photo (cc) by Rob Boudon
Looking for love online? There’s up to a 10 percent chance you’ll encounter a scammer, according to a VentureBeat report…
The scam typically works like this: A con artist, usually based in an Internet cafe overseas, will lift a photo from Facebook or another social networking site. They will painstakingly craft a fake profile and begin targeting people that are looking for love.
Once they’ve made contact, they will typically request to move the conversation to a private instant messaging service. He or she will begin the courtship process by sending letters and love poems for a period of weeks and finally offer to fly to meet their victim. Within hours of the expected arrival time, an emergency will strike: A work visa has expired, or their aunt/niece/child is sick and they need a few thousand dollars to be wired over so they can finally meet their intended.
The bigger dating sites like Match.com and OKCupid have some security measures, but many smaller sites do not. The article has tips on avoiding scammers.