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The crook will then lavish you with attention and flattery.

The idea is to get you to suspend good sense and become enamored with someone you've known online for just a few weeks and have never met in person. Kipps has decided that another tip-off is photographs that show all the trappings of wealth -- exotic cars, mansions, pictures in romantic foreign settings.

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That includes dating scams — among the oldest and most common of online swindles.

Recently, I had a chance to review a package of dating scam emails, instructions, pictures, videos and love letter templates that are sold to scammers in the underground, and was struck by how commoditized this type of fraud has become.

When the victim gets wise, the con artist gets scarce. But the increasing popularity of online dating gives them the perfect conditions to proliferate.

There are no statistics saying just how common scammers are on dating sites.

"The story was getting more and more bizarre," she says.

"But I hung on and kept communicating because I wanted to see the end of the movie." The ending came as no surprise to experts on romance scams.

"After a while, it becomes really easy to spot them." Here are six red flags to help detect and sidestep romance scams.

Let's leave the site: Online dating sites have the ability to monitor and boot members who exhibit problematic behavior or are perpetrating scams, so con artists want to quickly move their victims elsewhere.

Beth Kipps, who has experimented with several dating sites, says the men who have attempted to con her almost always have a reason why they shouldn't continue to communicate via or e Harmony.

Most commonly, the excuse is "My membership on this site is almost up.

Morrison's erstwhile Romeo claimed he needed her to "lend" him ,000 to deal with one of the many crises he had fabricated.

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