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People are often ashamed to come forward and admit that they’ve been duped.

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.

It’s possible that it’s someone looking for an affair on a dating site The Internet seems ecstatic about the Ashley Madison hack, with millions of adulterers' and potential adulterers' details hacked and released online, with articles outing individuals found in the data dump. Even if someone’s profile looks legit, there are other signs to keep an eye out for, especially during the beginning of your communication.

For example, scammers will often ask you to communicate with them outside of the dating site—via email, through Facebook, or even on Skype.

If someone was expressing over-the-top love and passion within a couple weeks, you’d be worried.

Early on in a courting relationship, you’ll probably ask a lot of questions, even basic ones like “how tall are you? ” If the person you’re talking to is avoiding these basic questions, that should be a big red flag.

The most common reasons that they give for needing money are not being able to afford a passport, visa, other travel documents, or plane tickets (often to come see you); an emergency stay in the hospital that requires a huge sum of money; getting robbed while traveling; or not being able to access their money from abroad.

There’s a huge variety of reasons that you could get.

They have a lot of victims to get through, so they’re going to try to move things along as quickly as possible.

Of course, just because someone is younger doesn’t mean that they’re a scammer; it’s just something to keep in mind.

Scammers also often list themselves as widowed (especially with a child), self-employed, or working overseas.

If someone sends you a message and says they’d like to get to know you, save a copy of their picture and use Google’s reverse image search to see if anyone has posted about that photo being used for a scam.

If that image shows up on other profiles with different names, you should be suspicious. If you receive other photos, and anything seems off, be wary.

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