Internet dating services personal
"It is amazing what people will do without conscience.
I think it is always best to be whom we are and not mislead others." By December 17, they had exchanged eight more emails.
But as financial crimes go, the love con was a rare breed, too time- and labor-intensive to carry out in large numbers.
It could take months or years of dedicated persuasion to pull off a single sting. Technology has streamlined communication, given scammers powerful new tools of deceit and opened up a vast pool of potential victims.
The picture — outdoor photo, big smile — was real, and recent.
And her pitch was straightforward: Looking for a life partner …
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), complaints about impostor ploys such as the romance scam more than doubled between 20.
A short message sent on a Thursday evening in early December 2013, under the subject line: Match? She signed up for a six-month subscription to Match.com, the largest and one of the oldest dating services on the Web.
Duane suggested they both fill out questionnaires listing not only their favorite foods and hobbies but also personality quirks and financial status. An impostor poses as a suitor, lures the victim into a romance, then loots his or her finances.
He also sent her a link to a song, pop star Marc Anthony's "I Need You." "It holds a message in it," he told her, "a message that delivers the exact way i feel for you." Amy clicked on the link to the song, a torrid ballad that ends with the singer begging his lover to marry him. In pre-digital times, romance scammers found their prey in the back pages of magazines, where fake personal ads snared vulnerable lonely hearts.
She filled out a questionnaire and carefully crafted her profile.
It would have been easy to burnish the truth, but she presented herself honestly, from her age (57) and hobbies ("dancing, rock collecting") to her financial status ("self sufficient").
successful, spiritually minded, intelligent, good sense of humor, enjoys dancing and travelling. In those first weeks, she exchanged messages and a few calls with men, and even met some for coffee or lunch.