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Dating scams are probably as old as civilization itself.But like all things driven down the information super highway, online dating is one way dating scams have picked up speed.How to Handle Unauthorized Credit Card Charges: Unauthorized credit card charges can be handled in two ways — here’s the right way.What You Need to Know Before Ordering From Online Florists: Sniff out this info first to see if shopping the online florists is really the savviest way to send flowers. Fnd out the advantages and disadvantages of Satellite TV compared to cable and on-the-air broadcasting. Could your soul mate be waiting for you somewhere out there in cyberspace?A woman in Indiana learned that the hard way this month, after losing over 0,000 to an online scammer whom she'd thought was a local man falling in love with her.On July 23, Indiana's NBC affiliate reported the story of an anonymous Kosciusko County woman (her identity is being kept secret in part because the police investigation into her case is still ongoing) who, in February, started online chats with a man she met on an unidentified dating site.He lost his tools and needed money to rent them, he needed funds to pay his staff and enough to pay hospital bills after he supposedly had a stroke."It's almost like you know something is coming, but you're in so, so far. The two arranged to meet at the South Bend airport twice. Four months and thousands of dollars later, Tonya had had enough and told John she couldn't give him any more money."I had sent this man a total of almost 0,000 by this time."Unfortunately, stories like “Tonya's” are not rare at all.Last January we ran an article about some then-recent online dating scams, the same basic story only with slightly different details: victim enrolls in online dating site; meets a man with whom she exchanges frequent phone calls and online chats, although they never actually met face to face; the man claims to be in love and then starts citing sob stories which can only be alleviated if the woman sends money. Not currently in the US (and thus conveniently unavailable for face-to-face meetups)? “Waiting for a huge check” – well, John's requests for loans to pay for alleged business trips, or manage payroll at the company he allegedly owns, sort of falls into that category.
An unpleasant surprise can often feel like — or be — a scam. If something sounds wrong — like a lawyer who says he’s 35 years old but has 25 years of professional experience — start asking questions.A couple months after the story ran, a reader named Nancy Mitchell read it and commented that she ran across such would-be scammers all the time. The best way to protect yourself from such scams to to remember the rest of Nancy's comment: “Bottom line, I wouldn't give money to people I KNOW, let alone some stranger.Her description of a generic love-scammer sounded almost exactly like “John Hagen” from South Bend, Indiana: Engineer? Here are the four most common dating scams and what you can do to avoid them.Just like face-to-face dating, singles online try to put their best foot forward.And if so, how can you avoid dating scams that might lurk there as well? residents paid $600 million on online dating and personals in 2006, capturing the largest segment of paid content anywhere on the World Wide Web.