Amy was charmed — Duane was nothing like the local men she'd met so far.
"You certainly have a great sense of humor and a way with words," she responded.
"It is amazing what people will do without conscience.
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This seemed to be one of the problems with online dating.
She resolved to be pickier, only contacting men who were closely matched — 90 percent or more, as determined by the algorithm pulling the strings behind her online search. Back in college, she'd studied computer science and psychology, and she considered herself pretty tech-savvy.
I really like your profile and I like what I have gotten to know about you so far.
I would love to get to know you as you sound like a very interesting person plus you are beautiful. In fact it would be my pleasure if you wrote me at my email as I hardly come on here often. Some of the other men she'd met on Match had also quickly offered personal email addresses, so Amy didn't sense anything unusual when she wrote back to the Yahoo address from her own account.
But as financial crimes go, the love con was a rare breed, too time- and labor-intensive to carry out in large numbers.
It could take months or years of dedicated persuasion to pull off a single sting. Technology has streamlined communication, given scammers powerful new tools of deceit and opened up a vast pool of potential victims.
And she was full of questions, about him and about online dating in general.
"It is kind of a strange way to meet people," she wrote, "but it's not as cold as hanging around the produce department at the Kroger's." She also mentioned the deception she'd already encountered on previous dates — "lots of false advertising or 'bait and switch' folks," she wrote.
Web-based dating services first popped up in the mid-1990s and are now a billion industry.