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successful, spiritually minded, intelligent, good sense of humor, enjoys dancing and travelling. In those first weeks, she exchanged messages and a few calls with men, and even met some for coffee or lunch.But nothing clicked — either they weren't her type or they weren't exactly who they said they were.The mainstreaming of online dating is a revolution in progress, one that's blurring the boundaries between "real" and online relationships.(AARP has joined this revolution, partnering with the online dating service How About We to launch AARP Dating in December 2012.) But the online-dating boom has also fueled an invisible epidemic.Amy was charmed — Duane was nothing like the local men she'd met so far."You certainly have a great sense of humor and a way with words," she responded.According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), complaints about impostor ploys such as the romance scam more than doubled between 20.
"It is kind of a strange way to meet people," she wrote, "but it's not as cold as hanging around the produce department at the Kroger's." She also mentioned the deception she'd already encountered on previous dates — "lots of false advertising or 'bait and switch' folks," she wrote.
She filled out a questionnaire and carefully crafted her profile.
It would have been easy to burnish the truth, but she presented herself honestly, from her age (57) and hobbies ("dancing, rock collecting") to her financial status ("self sufficient").
But as financial crimes go, the love con was a rare breed, too time- and labor-intensive to carry out in large numbers.
It could take months or years of dedicated persuasion to pull off a single sting. Technology has streamlined communication, given scammers powerful new tools of deceit and opened up a vast pool of potential victims.