“My friends advised me to go online and try to find someone to share my life with,” she says via Skype.
Firefly spent a lot of time on her profile, thinking she needed to be entirely honest and open if she hoped to really connect with someone.
"This includes never giving money to anyone – just as you would never give money to someone you recently met in a pub or café – and not sharing personal contact details that take conversations off the site," he said.
Back in 2010, Brenda Parke, a 60-year-old retiree, was scammed out of £60,000 after joining an online dating site and befriending a man purporting to be a successful Dutch businessman called Bradford Cole.
With one in four British adults using a dating website at some point in their life, according to Which?• Never reply to communications from someone who you meet on a dating site/chat room or social networking website that then wants continue the communication by email.• If you think a profile is fake, check the website for details on reporting it.Someone you have started to develop a relationship with online might first ask for money for travel costs, or say they have lost their plane ticket so need to borrow some cash for a new one.They might say a family member is ill and they need funds for urgent medical treatment.Five years ago, an Austrian woman decided to give online dating a try.(She asked that I only use her internet handle, Firefly, for reasons that will soon become clear.) It had been about a year since Firefly got divorced.According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, online romance scams account for higher financial losses than any other internet-based crime.It’s not uncommon for victims to lose tens of thousands of dollars.In order to release it they claim they have to pay a customs release fee – which is then requested from the victim." Online dating scams are nothing new, but they are on the rise.From April 2013 to March 2014, there were 2,037 cases of dating scams reported to Action Fraud, with the 651 scams over the summer marking an acceleration.