Sure, Internet Dating seems great, quick and efficient, but there is a dark murky side ---scam artists.

Scamraiders has recently received enquiries from people who have experienced problems and scams involving online dating services. No matter if you are seeking love in a bottle, or a quick tryst, there are scam artists who use the internet to entice and swindle you through your heart and then to your cash. Many of these swindlers will have the brazen audacity to require your money first just to get started. Many will ask for personal information after making you feel comfortable that they are truly interested in you. These supposed lovers/romance queries are cleverly interspersed with questions about your financial data; so they can size you up. Some of these online dating scoundrels will use your confidential data (that you unwittingly provide) to steal your identity.

There are a number of online services who, after their scammers lure you in, will further enticed you by sending phony photos of handsome men and gorgeous women. Once you pick one that you are attracted to, the real scam begins. You will begin to exchange romantic possibilities. Then soon you will bypass the service and communicate directly via email. The scammer will gain more of your trust. Once the con-artist has “roped you in” and established the fantasy of a genuine relationship, they will begin asking you for money. Either they will ask for airfare so that you can meet and “embrace”, or the scammer will tug at your heart claiming a medical emergency where immediate cash is needed; or they will come up with a bunch of other clever angles to disenfranchise you from your hard-earned cash. These charlatans will even con you to go the airport where you wait for your fantasy “lover” who of course never shows-up ---your money gone, heart broken, and disillusioned.

Sadly, most people who get hauled into these online relationships, out of desperation and loneliness, will fork-over untold sums in the hopes of arriving at “Shangrila”, along with the fantasy online lover.

Be alert. DO NOT ever respond to unsolicited email “love letters”. This is yet just another scam. If you answer, the scammer will know you are vulnerable and a “mark”. There is no love to be found out there via strangers from emails. Finding love is more difficult than making money; you really have to work at it, and you will not find it on the internet.

Now that said, Scamraiders is carefully analyzing “on line dating services”. Regretfully most of them are not what they claim to be. The supposed legit sites insist that their users provide VERIFIED profiles. Thereafter, these Sites appear to attempt to match you with others that you can hopefully, fairly, try and develop a meaningful relationship. This is their claim, but who knows? There are even scam claims and negative comments out there about these well-known internet service providers as well. Really, the true answer is---get up and get out---- try your best to meet people “face to face”---at social functions, Church or Temple functions, or through reliable friends. Remember always: IF IT'S TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE-----IT IS!!!

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