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"You certainly have a great sense of humor and a way with words," she responded.And she was full of questions, about him and about online dating in general.He also sent her a link to a song, pop star Marc Anthony's "I Need You." "It holds a message in it," he told her, "a message that delivers the exact way i feel for you." Amy clicked on the link to the song, a torrid ballad that ends with the singer begging his lover to marry him. In pre-digital times, romance scammers found their prey in the back pages of magazines, where fake personal ads snared vulnerable lonely hearts.But as financial crimes go, the love con was a rare breed, too time- and labor-intensive to carry out in large numbers. It had been over two years since the death of her husband of 20 years; four, since she had lost her mother.She filled out a questionnaire and carefully crafted her profile.But nothing clicked — either they weren't her type or they weren't exactly who they said they were.
I really like your profile and I like what I have gotten to know about you so far.
A short message sent on a Thursday evening in early December 2013, under the subject line: Match? She signed up for a six-month subscription to Match.com, the largest and one of the oldest dating services on the Web.
Now she was all by herself in a house secluded at the end of a long gravel driveway. At first, she just tiptoed around the many dating sites, window-shopping in this peculiar new marketplace. It wasn't until the fall that Amy was ready to dive in.
It could take months or years of dedicated persuasion to pull off a single sting. Technology has streamlined communication, given scammers powerful new tools of deceit and opened up a vast pool of potential victims.
Web-based dating services first popped up in the mid-1990s and are now a billion industry.
Duane wrote right back, a long message that sketched a peripatetic life — he described himself as a "computer systems analyst" from North Hollywood, California, who grew up in Manchester, England, and had lived in Virginia for only five months.