"I probably hear from five scammers a night," says Marko Budgyk, a Los Angeles financier who has frequented several online dating sites over the past 10 years."After a while, it becomes really easy to spot them." Here are six red flags to help detect and sidestep romance scams.
Though the amounts and details of the scam vary from victim to victim, when it comes to romance scams, the con is almost always the same: The crook wants to get a besotted victim to wire money or provide access to a credit card.There are no statistics saying just how common scammers are on dating sites.But individuals who frequent them say scams are pervasive. Match.com, for instance, includes a disclaimer at the bottom of every onsite email between members, warning not to send money or provide credit card information to anyone you've met on the site.The researchers studied relationships formed on online dating website over a six-month period.They found that consummate love - described as a balance of passion, intimacy and commitment - was evident at around 12 months into a relationship.'But with the popularity of online dating, it is imperative we understand the factors that influence satisfaction in relationships formed in this way.'Charlotte Harper, of Match.com, said: 'We were thrilled to find so many of our former members have found love.'It supports our belief that the internet does in fact encourage old-fashioned courtship.' After failing to find love through the personal ads of his local newspaper, Robert Hammond was keen to give internet dating a go.Companionate love - a relationship with high levels of intimacy and commitment, but lower levels of passion - was the next most frequently experienced form of love, exhibited by 16 per cent of the study group.Dr Jeff Gavin, who led the team, said: 'To date, there has been no systematic study of love in the context-of relationships formed via online dating sites.Some 67 per cent of men but just 57 per cent of women said they had experienced consummate love with an online partner.However, women were more likely to experience 'liking' compared to men (9 per cent and 2 per cent respectively), they found.