"Because a victim has legitimate feelings, they might be inclined to offer financial support for this person." For Best, it all started when she signed up for a free online dating site called mingle2.A man calling himself "John" messaged her and through daily phone calls and messages on Facebook, he gained her trust.However, on smaller or niche dating sites like and datanta, there is no security system to spot a fraudster.
He or she will begin the courtship process by sending letters and love poems for a period of weeks and finally offer to fly to meet their victim.The lesson here is that online dating startups will need to step up their game to keep consumers safe.“In the war against online dating scams and security threats, we’ve chosen to do whatever is necessary to always be a few steps ahead of scammers, and not the other way around – which is usually too late for our users,” said Cupid.com’s CEO, Bill Dobbie. It turns out that the crippling fear of an awkward first date is the least of your troubles.A fraud is sweeping online dating sites, according to a special report in this month’s issue of Glamour Magazine.In 2011, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center received 5,600 complaints from victims of so-called "romance scammers" -- criminals who scan online dating sites, chat rooms and social networking sites for potential victims.The victims reported collective losses of .4 million, which is likely only a fraction of the actual losses since many victims are too embarrassed to file a report, the FBI said.One thing that never changes: they follow the headlines — and the money.Stay a step ahead with the latest info and practical tips from the nation’s consumer protection agency. About 70% of the victims were female; more than half were women 40 years or older.In a typical con, the perpetrator will spend weeks or even months building up a romantic relationship with a victim through e-mails, texts or phone calls, before eventually asking for money.