Start Nigeria scams via dating websites

Nigeria scams via dating websites

The victims reported collective losses of $50.4 million, which is likely only a fraction of the actual losses since many victims are too embarrassed to file a report, the FBI said.

"I left my heart out there, and this guy took advantage of it," the 51-year old Best said.

In 2011, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center received 5,600 complaints from victims of so-called "romance scammers" -- criminals who scan online dating sites, chat rooms and social networking sites for potential victims.

Victims think they’re just helping out their soulmate, never realizing they’re aiding and abetting a crime.

Here are some warning signs that an online love interest might be a fake.

In a typical con, the perpetrator will spend weeks or even months building up a romantic relationship with a victim through e-mails, texts or phone calls, before eventually asking for money.

And many of the scammers aren't even in the United States.

According to recent figures, these requests for cash appear to be working.

There were 651 dating scams reported in the three months to August this year, with the average victim paying out £9,589.

It used to be parents who worried about their children being picked up by unsavory types in bars and other seedy hang-outs.

Now children are worried about their parents being hoodwinked by the scam artists who haunt online dating sites."I am a bit past age 50 --- well educated lady; (I thought that I was so smart that it couldn't happen to me --- my college education is no match for a professional criminal)," said one of a seemingly endless stream of scam victims who hav...

But in the last decade or so, the game of looking for love has gotten some new rules, with the venue moving from the bar world to the the cyber world.