Internet romance scams often take place through online dating services, such as and OKCupid.
Sites catering to international dating have also been singled out as popular scam venues.
These operations may be individual, amateur efforts, or executed by larger crime syndicates based overseas .
Entrenched criminal organizations have greater resources to set up more believable scams, like those featuring the invented "John Scofield," a well-connected, handsome character living in Florida; Scofield's profile was used simultaneously in multiple scams around the country All demographics are at risk for online dating scams. But I don’t really know that the guy doesn’t love me.
However, scams disproportionately target older women: 68% of complaints submitted in 2011 were targeted at women, and 82% of those affected women over 40 years of age. There was a guy that I met when I’m still at home in Florida (two month ago) so the guy told me that he love me. We have fun and know much more about each other together in the same room.
Women who have been divorced, disabled, or widowed are also prime targets. And the next day I can't find this guy any more he ran away with all my money and my goods.
These complications may be family-related (a close family member is very sick and needs financial assistance) or travel-related (a hotel manager has seized my passport, or immigration officials require bribes).
Payments are often made through wire transfer, although victims have been asked to send physical goods, like electronics, as well.
Once a payment has been made, the scammer will stumble into more and more tragic situations, requiring more and more money from the victim, until the victim terminates the relationship or the scammer ceases contact.
This model is but one common scam with endless variations.
This data is likely under-reported due to victims' embarrassment and the psychological impact of the crimes"My dad he's from us and my mum is from Spain. All I need now…0 US dollars." In this case, the male suitor began to ask probing questions about his online companion's access to credit, her exact location, and her family resources.
After several unconvincing answers (the scammer claims her country is West Africa and that her entire family perished recently in a plane crash), the suitor terminates the relationship, avoiding fraud.
This situation illustrates several common characteristics of scams.