Dating service hoax

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The site posts photos of the scam artists, who are both male and female.

Sluppick said she believes the toll is higher than the millions of dollars her members have lost, calling online dating scams "one of the most under-reported crimes out there." The embarrassment of being duped and the unwillingness to admit vulnerability is what stops people from reporting the crime, Sluppick said.

These sites, along with dozens of other smaller ones, allow you to post a profile of yourself and view the profiles of others.

There is no attempt to verify the information someone posts -- something the sites are generally upfront about.

"If you have an email address and want to be in a relationship, you can fall victim to this scam," she said.

"The fact that you are paying a dating site creates a false sense of security that the site is going to protect you from being taken." See our slideshow below for 10 tips from the Better Business Bureau to avoid getting ripped off in an online dating scam.

Naturally, we offer tips to help you protect yourself from these online dating scams.

One popular scam, Norton said, is that a man will pose as someone from a woman's hometown who is temporarily working on a government contract in Nigeria.

Is it a case of looking for love in all of the wrong places, or just a few bad apples in an otherwise happy bushel?

Truth is, many boomers often reach their 50s and older and find themselves uncoupled, either through death or divorce; they don't know where to turn.

Many haven't been on the dating scene for decades and, feeling lonely and vulnerable, turn to their nearest computer for help.

What they find is a plethora of online dating sites that promise romance, true love and fun.

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