Online dating services can be a terrific and efficient way to find love.
However, due to the anonymous nature of the process, hazards abound.
A prevalent problem Connecting with prospective matches electronically is a thrill, but hope and excitement can supersede sound judgment and fact checking.
A study about online dating and credit habits by Protect My ID.com, Experian's identity theft protection program, found that nearly half of the respondents never verify the authenticity of their chat mates, and nearly 10 percent actually sent them their Social Security numbers or bank account information.
"They meet young, beautiful women on dating sites who are supposedly looking for love from older wealthy individuals," says Falzone.
When the gentlemen take the bait, "again, something dreadful happens that requires the man to send money." Without enough cash, victims often charge the amount to rescue their dear one.
The applicant then enters his Social Security number and other personal and financial data, which the thief uses to open new credit and loan accounts.
Other scammers postpone their crimes until the real life meet-up.
According to Consumer Fraud Reporting.org, as much as 30 percent of online personalities are bogus. Because, says Donna Andersen, of Egg Harbor Township, N.Within a week, some tragic event happens, and he has no funds to return to the U.S." Because he has "proven" his wealth with the luxurious presents, he persuades his mark to send cash or credit card numbers so he can buy a plane ticket back home.Before getting the company's seal of approval, participating daters must physically go to one of their more than 50 locations and get checked, screened and cleared.Still, says Falzone, "It's an ongoing fight that doesn't end." What's a dater to do?