Usan internet dating scams

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And those numbers likely represent just a sliver of the swindles.

Shame and embarrassment keep many people from coming forward.

"This is a hugely underreported crime," said Special Agent Christine Beining, of the FBI's Houston branch.

"We’re anticipating that number rising in the future." While singles looking for love cover a wide range of demographics, Beining said scammers prey on the most vulnerable, women over the age of 60, often widowed and not digitally savvy."It has a lot to do with how isolated people are from family and friends, from other people who could have warned them," Beining said. Most claim they lost their wife to some form of cancer, are raising their child alone, work keeps them at a distance — often abroad — and are looking for love.

Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.

The Federal Trade Commission also had a spike in the number of complaints about possible romance-related scams, up more two-fold to 11,149 from 2014 levels.

Millions of Americans use dating sites, social networking sites, and chat rooms to meet people. But scammers also use these sites to meet potential victims.

They create fake profiles to build online relationships, and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love.

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions.

They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.

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