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He had convinced them that he was a diplomat and that a US marine general had fallen in love with them, causing one woman to pawn jewelry, empty her life savings, sell her car, and take out loans to help this general move to the UK. In 2011, the Internet Crime Complaint Center estimated that the online dating scamming “industry” was worth over $50 million, but it’s likely much higher than that, due to the difficulty of making a good estimate.
People are often ashamed to come forward and admit that they’ve been duped.
They have a lot of victims to get through, so they’re going to try to move things along as quickly as possible.
They’ll hit you with the full force of their charm; they’ll say sweet things, compliment you a lot, and talk about how perfect you are for each other within the first couple weeks.
It’s not a good feeling to have been taken advantage of, and a scheme that’s so obvious in hindsight is even harder to admit to. If you date online, take precautions to protect yourself.