They vary tremendously, from e Harmony romance farms to niche markets for single parents.
Canadians are among the most avid online daters, with four million visiting dating sites every month.
(Indeed, military men are common covers for scammers.) Drawing on these details, the Ghanaian con artist spent a year winning Martin’s confidence via email. “We refer to it as the ‘romance pitch,’” he says, adding that scammers trawl dating sites, make up a fake name and swipe a picture from the thousands available on the Internet.
“Unfortunately, the victim falls in love with a name, a picture and a fairy tale.” At any given moment, more than one billion people are on the Internet. No surprise that the online-dating industry currently boasts over 1,500 sites.
Often there are secondary players in the dating scam; for example, someone posed as a lawyer to support the Massachusetts art dealer’s story.
“They use Photoshop to alter or insert whatever information they want.” He explains that West African dating scammers often work in teams, duping six or seven victims simultaneously.He couldn’t believe his luck when “Kathleen Cooper” contacted him.“She said she was a businesswoman who lived in Massachusetts,” says Mendez.Last comes the coup de grâce: the crisis that only money can fix.“They’re on their way to visit you,” Robertson explains, “and suddenly there’s an emergency or sad story.” Hector Mendez,* a 52-year-old Ottawa resident, posted a profile on in the fall of 2010.