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*Names have been changed to protect identities En español She wrote him first. In the summer, when the trees leafed out, you couldn't even see the road or the neighbors. She'd grown up here, in a conservative pocket of Virginia. When it came to meeting new people, however, her choices were limited. The holidays were coming, and she didn't want to face them alone.

A short message sent on a Thursday evening in early December 2013, under the subject line: Match? She signed up for a six-month subscription to Match.com, the largest and one of the oldest dating services on the Web.

But as financial crimes go, the love con was a rare breed, too time- and labor-intensive to carry out in large numbers.

Then she saw this guy, the one with a mysterious profile name — darkandsugarclue.The photo showed a trim, silver-haired man of 61 with a salt-and-pepper beard and Wayfarer-style shades. And something else: He was a "100% match." Whoever he was, the computer had decided he was the one. Then, this message appeared when she logged on to her account. Thank you so much for the email and I am really sorry for the delay in reply, I don't come on here often, smiles ...successful, spiritually minded, intelligent, good sense of humor, enjoys dancing and travelling. In those first weeks, she exchanged messages and a few calls with men, and even met some for coffee or lunch.But nothing clicked — either they weren't her type or they weren't exactly who they said they were.Web-based dating services first popped up in the mid-1990s and are now a billion industry.

As of December 2013, 1 in 10 American adults had used services such as Match.com, Plenty of Fish and e Harmony.She had a website for her business, was on Facebook, carried a smartphone.But who knew exactly how these online dating services worked?According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), complaints about impostor ploys such as the romance scam more than doubled between 20.The FBI says that Americans lost some million to online-dating fraud in just the last six months of 2014.Duane suggested they both fill out questionnaires listing not only their favorite foods and hobbies but also personality quirks and financial status. An impostor poses as a suitor, lures the victim into a romance, then loots his or her finances.