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The idea is to get you to suspend good sense and become enamored with someone you've known online for just a few weeks and have never met in person. Kipps has decided that another tip-off is photographs that show all the trappings of wealth -- exotic cars, mansions, pictures in romantic foreign settings.

Of course, real people sometimes have nice things and go to great places, but these visual cues are key to scammers who want to get your guard down for their future bid for cash.

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By then, Morrison knew she was dealing with a scammer."The story was getting more and more bizarre," she says.Let's leave the site: Online dating sites have the ability to monitor and boot members who exhibit problematic behavior or are perpetrating scams, so con artists want to quickly move their victims elsewhere.Beth Kipps, who has experimented with several dating sites, says the men who have attempted to con her almost always have a reason why they shouldn't continue to communicate via or e Harmony."But I hung on and kept communicating because I wanted to see the end of the movie." The ending came as no surprise to experts on romance scams.

Morrison's erstwhile Romeo claimed he needed her to "lend" him ,000 to deal with one of the many crises he had fabricated.

"You see this communication and think, 'Oh my gosh, I must be more attractive than I thought! They're also likely to target people with weight problems and those recovering from illnesses. Any of these issues might make you a bit more anxious about your ability to find love and potentially more receptive to the con.

The crook will then lavish you with attention and flattery.

If the victim doesn't figure out the con after the first request for cash, the crook will keep milking the relationship for as much as he or she can get.

When the victim gets wise, the con artist gets scarce. But the increasing popularity of online dating gives them the perfect conditions to proliferate.

"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.