One way to steer clear of these criminals altogether is to stick to online dating websites with nationally known reputations.
Finally, the FBI advises not to send money through any wire transfer service to someone you met online.
To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.
Online dating has jumped among adults under age 25 as well as those in their late 50s and early 60s.
But as Valentine’s Day gets closer, the FBI wants to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams..That is a substantial increase from the 43% of online daters who had actually progressed to the date stage when we first asked this question in 2005.But it still means that one-third of online daters have not yet met up in real life with someone they initially found on an online dating site.Victims were later sent a link to a website where those conversations were posted, along with photos, their phone numbers, and claims that they were “cheaters.” In order to have that information removed, victims were told they could make a payment—but there is no indication that the other side of the bargain was upheld.While the FBI and other federal partners work some of these cases—in particular those with a large number of victims or large dollar losses and/or those involving organized criminal groups—many are investigated by local and state authorities.Few Americans had online dating experience when Pew Research Center first polled on the activity in 2005, but today 15% of U. adults report they have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps.