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Con artists may express their “love” quickly and effusively, find similarities with the victim, and claim the online match was destiny.

This is all a build-up for the scam artist’s real goal: conning a victim out of money.

Fake profiles may have discrepancies or inconsistencies, like disproportionate height and weight, or be suspiciously vague. Online dating and romance scams often begin like any other online relationship: interested individuals exchange basic information, like their line of work, their city, and their hobbies and interests.

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This leaves many victims not only embarrassed but also in financial distress.

It is important for online users to be on the look-out for online dating and romance scams.

Maria deposited the check and sent the money, but was soon contacted by her bank, which told her the check was bad and she had to repay the $4,500.

On top of losing her money, the fake “Andrew” disappeared, and Maria never heard from him again. The scammer may use photos from magazines and portray himself or herself as talented and successful. citizen working or serving abroad, or give a similar excuse to explain their inability to meet in person.

Some scam artists use bogus profiles to con the people they meet out of hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Criminals who perpetrate online dating and romance scams use emotional appeals to quickly gain their victims’ trust and then, just as quickly, exploit it.

Some scammers induce victims to share personal information or images and then threaten to post or distribute them to the friends, family members, and employers if the victim refuses to pay.

The Attorney General’s Office encourages people to exercise an appropriate level of caution when looking for a relationship online and to be careful about sharing personal information and photos with people they have never met.

Once the victim becomes attached, the scammer looks for ways to dupe the person into sending money, which can happen in two basic ways.

In the first scenario, the scammer may indirectly ask for money.

It can happen like this: “Maria” signed up for an online dating service and was contacted by “Andrew,” who claimed to be an American overseas on business in Australia.

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