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But the billion dating industry could do much more, many experts say, including warning members who have been contacted by a known scammer.
AARP is collecting signatures on an online petition calling on dating sites to take stronger steps to protect customers.
An AARP study he co-authored last year found that Internet fraud victims had experienced significantly more negative life events in the previous two years than non-victims.
Related: Multiracial Asian Americans 'Most Popular' in Online Dating: Study A 53-year-old grandmother from California recently learned how these confidence men (and women) play on the vulnerabilities of lonely singles.
One of the most common techniques is to build up trust with the person by messaging for weeks or even months before suddenly having an emergency - the fake person being mugged but their daughter needing urgent surgery, for example - and asking for money.
They're in West Africa, Eastern Europe and it's very difficult for British law enforcement to take action against them in those jurisdictions,” Steve Profitt, Deputy Head of Action Fraud explains.
A few months after her husband’s death in 2012, Joanna — who asked her real name not be used to protect her privacy — went on looking for the soul mate she’d never had in her troubled marriage.
She soon got a message from a man who said he was a widowed engineer from Colorado.
Barb Sluppick, founder of the online support group Romancescams.org, which has 20,000 active members, said that one of the hardest things for victims to understand “is that there’s no justice in these scams."“Money that is sent, the money is gone,” she said.
Federal officials acknowledge that many cases are not investigated, but they encourage people to report these crimes because the information helps them spot patterns and build cases against repeat offenders.
Because once they forge a bond with you — which can happen surprisingly fast — it can be very hard to break free.