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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.
Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate.
But as Valentine’s Day gets closer, the FBI wants to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams..
You can post your profile, use advanced search, send and receive messages absolutely free.
The pictures you were sent were most likely phony lifted from other websites.
The profiles were fake as well, carefully crafted to match your interests.
In addition to losing your money to someone who had no intention of ever visiting you, you may also have unknowingly taken part in a money laundering scheme by cashing phony checks and sending the money overseas and by shipping stolen merchandise (the forwarded package).
In another recently reported dating extortion scam, victims usually met someone on an online dating site and then were asked to move the conversation to a particular social networking site, where the talk often turned intimate.