In 2011, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center received 5,600 complaints from victims of so-called "romance scammers" -- criminals who scan online dating sites, chat rooms and social networking sites for potential victims.The victims reported collective losses of .4 million, which is likely only a fraction of the actual losses since many victims are too embarrassed to file a report, the FBI said.However, some experts took issue with the findings because the survey was commissioned by e Harmony.com, the dating site that attracted one quarter of all online marriages according to the research.Cacioppo acknowledged being a "paid scientific advisor" for the website, but said the researchers followed procedures provided by the Journal of the American Medical Association and agreed to oversight by independent statisticians.But I've never actually been on a dating app as myself, a black woman. Yes, online dating seems fun from where I'm standing, but I think doing it as a woman of color would damage my faith in humanity.Of course, women of all races have to deal with BS online. But women of color lack that extra race-based privilege, which can cause some mind-bogglingly stupid reactions from people in the online dating world."As a plus-size black woman attempting to find a suitable mate or at least a date, the results can be pretty sad," Christian S., 30, a Dallas, Texas-based fitness blogger and the creator of The Plush Cyclist, tells SELF.
"In the process of going back and forth, a scammer is going to try to figure out what makes a person tick, what their vulnerable spots are," said Jenny Shearer, an FBI spokeswoman.
"Because a victim has legitimate feelings, they might be inclined to offer financial support for this person." For Best, it all started when she signed up for a free online dating site called mingle2.
A man calling himself "John" messaged her and through daily phone calls and messages on Facebook, he gained her trust.
Like a lot of other women in long-term relationships, I totally missed the online-dating boat.
My hope is that my friends let me play romantic roulette with their love lives because they think my job affords me some top-secret dating intel.