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They also use many aliases, emails, photos, gender, age and sexual orientation in order to cast their net to catch as many victims as possible.Often the scammers use attractive female photo profiles because lots of men will respond to an attractive woman's personal ad based on the photo alone.
If you think you are being scammed, go to this site and browse all the photos to see if the person you are communicating has a photo on this site. However they also use photos taken from profiles of other people on dating sites, so remember that the photos that scammers use are not photos of themselves - they are photos of innocent victims.
One way to steer clear of these criminals altogether is to stick to online dating websites with nationally known reputations.
Finally, the FBI advises not to send money through any wire transfer service to someone you met online.
Victims were later sent a link to a website where those conversations were posted, along with photos, their phone numbers, and claims that they were “cheaters.” In order to have that information removed, victims were told they could make a payment—but there is no indication that the other side of the bargain was upheld.
While the FBI and other federal partners work some of these cases—in particular those with a large number of victims or large dollar losses and/or those involving organized criminal groups—many are investigated by local and state authorities.