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What does come for free is access to thousands upon thousands of singles people, including instant message and e-mail privileges.
These con artists find their targets by joining online dating sites and posting fake profiles.
One Colorado-based mother-and-daughter team alone took victims for $1.1 million by pretending to be soldiers in Afghanistan.
The first prominent online dating site was Match.com, which launched in 1995.
e Harmony started in 2000, Ok Cupid in 2004, and more recently, a wave of mobile people-swiping apps, like Tinder and Hinge, have become wildly popular.
The Federal Trade Commission says the online dating scam called "catfishing" -- when someone online pretends to be something or someone they're not -- costs Americans millions of dollars.
The full amount will never be known because many victims are too embarrassed to step forward.
Her take: “I went out with a guy I met online who seemed really sweet and charming. A few days later, he texts me to say that he isn't looking for a girlfriend—just casual sex.
I felt cheated and hurt.” -Andrea C., 31Expert take: Even if a guy doesn’t say straight out in his profile that he’s only looking for hook-ups, some will offer hints.
from Brooklyn, NY for suggesting this week’s topic: Online dating, once a fringe and stigmatized activity, is now over a billion industry.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating