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Geographical mismatches are also bad signs, such as someone claiming to be in Brooklyn when their IP address points to the other side of the planet.

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The pick-up line "I am not interested in games or drama" cracks the top 20, which sounds legitimate enough, but so does "having past events shape your life is one thing carrying the past as a burden that sits heavily upon your shoulders is not the way i view life."There are millions of scam online dating accounts created each month, says Scamalytics co-founder Dan Winchester.

His company, which he founded in 2011, detects up to 250,000 per month, and was born out of a healthy combination of necessity and self-interest. The increase in online dating scammers, he says, has grown in step with the popularity of the sites and apps themselves.“As with all dating services, there came a point that it hit the radar of the scammers, and it suddenly became overrun.

But most people wouldn’t blink if they saw it in a real person’s profile.

Likewise, scammers use current events to provide cover stories that explain why they’re in, say, Nigeria.

And if you replace “collect an inheritance” with “find true love,” they’re an increasing menace for dating apps and services. But they are an increasingly important front for criminals, who in turn use increasingly sophisticated methods to snare their marks, and take them for whatever they can.

A recently released list, by a fraud-busting company called Scamalytics, of the top lines and photos used in profiles by online dating grifters shows that while the range of sophistication may vary, the end goal is always the same: To fleece romance-seekers out of their money.

When Boko Haram kidnapped a group of school girls last spring, Winchester said, dating profile fakers would claim to be there abroad as part of a US special forces mission.

In reality, they were Nigerian con artists, hoping to be sent money to pay for a flight they would never take.“The sad reality is that the most effective scammers will tend to be the human beings who build trusting relationships over a long period of time with their targets,” says Winchester.

“And their targets genuinely fall in love with those individuals, even after the scam has been executed…

The victim isn’t willing to accept that they’ve been scammed, or does accept that they’ve been scammed and is still in love with the scammer.”There are a few ways to protect yourself from online dating scammers, most of which are common-sense tests of whether they are who—and where—they say they are.

An exotic stranger needs help, and you’re the only one able to provide it.

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