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The risks of online dating

They might claim to have a medical emergency and need money to cover the expense.Or, they want to meet you in person, but need financial help from you to cover their travel.

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Australians lost more than $25 million to such scams last year. it was recently reported that a photo of Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, probably taken from Facebook, was used in a phony profile on a dating website.Forty-three victims were taken for more than $100,000 each. An Indiana woman who was scammed sent her online love nearly $150,000 before she went to police.So, how can you recognize that you’re being scammed by your online sweetheart?She then agreed to pay £4,000 for a flight from Syria for him to get home.The police were unable to find the man, who received the money through a company that wasn’t involved in the scam.Then comes the email saying, "I can't go through with this.

I'm sorry, I'm dishonest, I'm married." "You have to be very careful," Falzone tells Web MD.

Talk on the phone first, then arrange a brief meeting in a public place -- for coffee, lunch, or maybe a drink. Let someone know where you're going, who you'll be meeting. But I've never met anyone totally different than they present themselves." But if someone lies about his or her weight -- lies to the extreme, that is -- that's what people really get upset about, "It's very unwise for women to substantially stretch their weight. When people get divorced, they forget the good stuff about that relationship, and it undermines their confidence, she says. You have to feel proud of yourself, feel good about yourself, happy to meet people.

Online dating scams are common, and they cost victims more than $50 million a year, says Threat Metrix, a cybercrime prevention company. A story reported by the BBC last week is typical: A woman in England became involved online with a man who claimed to be a United Nations medic in Syria.

Dating is the path to love -- and that path, as we know, can be a minefield. "You're going to go through a lot of people, until you find someone where there is some kinetic thing, some magnetism, some desire to know more," says Pepper Schwartz, Ph D, a sociologist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

There's serious stuff out there, like HIV and STDs, date rape, online stalkers.

She was sent a video of the gold bars supposedly being unpacked at Heathrow by customs officials.