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According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud.

In 2016, the last year for which data is available, consumers lost more than 0 million this way.

The website Scamalytics maintains a blacklist of scammers who use false pictures. You might not be able to surface information like criminal records, but from their social media profiles, Linked In page, and other information you find, you should be able to get a sense of whether what they are telling you comports with the facts. For example, if a person you met online claims to run a business abroad, call the U. Choose a friend or someone from your church or community who is less emotionally invested than you are. And remember: If the request for funds is indeed a scam, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to ever recover the money.

Stitch is the world’s largest companionship & activities community created by members, for members.

Bumble (Android, i OS) aims to let you make new dates or friends in your area.

With this app, the queen bee (any female) must make the first move after two people mutually connect and are part of each other’s hive.

Often the scammer will say an emergency situation has arisen and money is needed fast to avoid dire consequences.

If the images come up associated with a person who has another name or lives in a different city, you have good reason to suspect they were stolen from someone else’s profile.

And if you’ve been communicating with someone by email, check their address at a site such as Romance Scams, which compiles lists of email addresses belonging to known scammers. Type the name of the person you met online into Google or Bing and see what comes up. If you are asked to send money and feel so inclined, run the whole scenario by someone you trust.

This makes it hard for the victim to do due diligence.

The scammer might say that an immediate family member has a medical emergency and needs money for treatment, or that he has been wrongly arrested and needs help with bail money and legal support.

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