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The project was set up in January 2008 to curb the spread not just of HIV but also tuberculosis, leprosy and malaria in the state.
The large number of divorced or widowed people coming forward, however, sparked the matchmaking idea.
As soon as he returned, he promised, he'd come visit Smalley in Ohio. The spirited e-mail romance hummed along for another two months before there was a problem. Even after the bank told her the money orders had been altered — they were purchased for , but then "washed" and doctored to read 0 — she still held out hope.
Now they can get on the Internet and go across the world," Cook said.
"When you meet someone and you really want someone you just want to believe them." Her advice to daters is the same, online or off: "Enjoy the relationship, but keep your money to yourself," she said.
When Theresa Smalley received a note from Richie last January asking if she wanted to chat, she was flattered. The two began exchanging e-mails, friendly at first, but quickly swelling in intensity and passion.
By Valentine's Day, Smalley received a box of chocolate candy, a teddy bear, and a helium balloon that said "I love you." Smalley, 46, was hooked, even though she had never met him.
Richie said he was from Milford, Mass., but that he was out of the country on a big construction job.
He was helping build a stadium in Nigeria, he said. I had no qualms whatsoever cashing (the money orders)," Smalley said.Smalley agreed, and over the next two weeks, she cashed two 0 money orders and sent along the funds. 'My whole world had fallen apart' "The bank told me I was responsible for that money. Smalley shared her version of events with in the hopes that others might not fall for the same trickery.Then, Richie was ready to leave the country, but needed money to deal with a visa problem. I had to pay them ,700, which was everything I had," she said. "Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever known that this is all a part of an elaborate online scam. agencies have issued warnings on the scams, also known as "419" or "advance-fee" frauds.A new Yahoo group, "Romance Scams," was founded last month by Smalley and Barb Sluppick, who said she almost fell for a similar scam earlier this year.Among the hundreds of messages posted to the group are photographs of alleged scammers, links to potentially fraudulent online dating ads, and copies of come-on e-mails."When you are meeting someone else on a Christian site, you think you are safe." No dating site is immune from scams, said Jason Tarlowe, who operates Match Doctor.com, where Smalley met Richie. Sometimes, the online suitors don't even ask before sending money orders.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating