Nancy*, a 47-year-old single mother from North Yorkshire was conned out of over £350,000 that way: “I wasn't comfortable, and then I got so far in I couldn't get myself out, and I didn't want to walk away having lost £50,000 or what-have-you, so you keep going in the hope that you're wrong and this person is genuine,” she explained to the BBC.Nancy is now facing bankruptcy, and although her case is extreme, the average victim of online dating fraud loses £10,000 according to Action Fraud.As part of this agreement, sites will educate members on online dating safety tips, initiate a rapid abuse reporting system, and will screen against the sex offender list.
Being single passed the age of 21 was considered almost shameful in that era, and the ads were often a last resort for the men who advertised and the women who read them.
Almost everyone these days can name a couple they know that met on the Internet, though it wasn't so long ago that skimming the online personals for love was considered strange, even a bit desperate.
Taboo or not, the practice certainly isn't new.
This week, the Attorney General of the State of California announced the Joint Statement of Key Principles for Online Dating Safety.
Online dating sites e Harmony, and Spark Networks have agreed to help their members date more safely.