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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.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.
“I’ve also seen my own photos and name used.” (The image of Grisham that was used by scammers is pictured, left) With a few of the largest player like OKCupid, Match, and others, there are precautionary measures in place.The lesson here is that online dating startups will need to step up their game to keep consumers safe.“In the war against online dating scams and security threats, we’ve chosen to do whatever is necessary to always be a few steps ahead of scammers, and not the other way around – which is usually too late for our users,” said Cupid.com’s CEO, Bill Dobbie.“This decision has its high price tag, but the alternative can be much costlier,” he continued.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.
In many cases, scammers will choose to use pictures of military personnel. Grisham set up a personal blog for soldiers to report their photo being used on online dating sites.