The Chinese authorities have announced a crackdown on the use of fake identities to sign up for online dating sites amid concerns about widespread marriage scams targeting China’s 200 million singles.
According to a set of new guidelines published by the government on Monday, dating sites will be required to take additional measures to vet users’ identities.
"He has a child and he's in Afghanistan and he's fighting the terrorists and he's a pilot, and I thought my prayers had been answered," Schuster said. Eventually, Smith asked Schuster to wire him some money to help support his daughter. She had sent him nearly $23,000 before she finally realized the whole thing was a scam.
She began a relationship online with a military officer serving in Afghanistan named Adam Smith.
"Even in the last decade, so many more people meet other people online for the purpose of dating," said New York attorney Jonathan Hood, who has written extensively on internet fraud. Of course, the best way to tell if the person you are dealing with is real is to meet in person. "If they say, 'I'm not ready to meet you in person,' or 'I want to continue just chatting online,' that could be trouble," Hood said.
"It just makes it so much easier for people to connect without ever meeting in person, and sort of as a result, never really verifying that the other person is who they say they are." In the latest twist, reported on the next episode of CNBC's "American Greed," con artists are exploiting Americans' respect for the military. Moving your relationship from virtual to real is a big step. If you are not yet comfortable meeting your new friend in person, Hood says to at least try to move away from the confines of the dating site by getting their email address or connecting on Facebook. "If you start getting, 'I'm not sure that I'm comfortable with that yet,' it doesn't mean that they're a scammer, but in my mind it would raise some red flags," Hood said.
They will invest months into a relationship, seemingly asking for nothing in return.