Internet foreign dating sites

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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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.

Romance scammers tug at the heartstrings or stroke the ego to get dating site users to send them money.

Seeking Arrangement caters to a very specific type of relationship, but the lessons here should apply to other dating sites and even to other aspects of digital life, Leroy Velasquez, a Seeking Arrangement spokesman, tells . It's a really crappy version of what a man or woman would get on a dating profile," he says.

Eighty-two percent of banned Seeking Arrangement profiles say they're Catholic and religion was the most common trait among fraudulent accounts.

Scammer talk a lot about spirituality in the messages they send, too.

Recognizing an Online Dating Scam Artist Your online “date” may only be interested in your money if he or she: Do not send money through any wire transfer service to someone you met online.

The chances of recovering your money are very slim.

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).

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