In the end, the money will be gone along with the person you thought you knew.
There are a great many quite legitimate dating service websites that allow members to establish online relationships.
In many cases, the victim will not only have lost out financially, but will also be left broken-hearted and thoroughly disillusioned.
These scammers tend to prey on victims that may be especially lonely, shy or isolated and therefore more vulnerable.
Sadly however, scammers have managed to effectively exploit this trend to further their own nefarious ends.
Many people around the world have been duped into sending money to Internet fraudsters posing as would-be girlfriends or boyfriends.
Typically, the profile will include a photograph of a very attractive young woman who will have no trouble attracting would-be suitors.
But as Valentine’s Day gets closer, we want to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams.
Sometimes, the visitor’s beverages will be spiked with drugs to impair vision and/or judgment.
The pictures you were sent were most likely phony lifted from other websites.
The profiles were fake as well, carefully crafted to match your interests.
Often, these online friendships blossom into genuine long-term relationships.
An increasing number of people have found life-partners via relationships started online.
Don’t send money to tide someone over after a mugging or robbery, and don’t do anyone a favor by making an online purchase or forwarding a package to another country.