Dating search company scams

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In a typical con, the perpetrator will spend weeks or even months building up a romantic relationship with a victim through e-mails, texts or phone calls, before eventually asking for money.

And many of the scammers aren't even in the United States.

"I left my heart out there, and this guy took advantage of it," the 51-year old Best said.

In 2011, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center received 5,600 complaints from victims of so-called "romance scammers" -- criminals who scan online dating sites, chat rooms and social networking sites for potential victims.

He's hunting through chat rooms, dating sites and social networking sites searching for victims, looking to cash in on romance.

If you are over 40, recently divorced, a widow, elderly or disabled then all the better in his eyes.

Instead of sending spam letters that promise millions for your assistance, these scammers are targeting single men and women who are searching for love online.

The Better Business Bureau listed online dating sites among its top 10 scams for 2011, and one consumer advocacy group says its members have lost millions from online dating scams.

Is it a case of looking for love in all of the wrong places, or just a few bad apples in an otherwise happy bushel?

Truth is, many boomers often reach their 50s and older and find themselves uncoupled, either through death or divorce; they don't know where to turn.

Successful scammers are good at grooming you; they ask lots of questions about what you want in your life.

They will be thoughtful, caring and ‘looking for a soul mate’. Once they’ve taken all they can, your new love will disappear and your money will be gone.

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