“We get about 30 requests for help a day,” usually from young men who sent a picture of their privates to a buxom Tinder match who turned out to be a blackmailer.

AARP has been fielding similarly cringe-worthy distress calls from seniors who exposed themselves in front of a webcam.

This lures victims who swipe or click to begin corresponding.

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Scammers have also been known to pose as university professors, clergy members, doctors, chefs, swimsuit models, waitresses, nurses and librarians.“They have a canny ability to mirror what the victim seems to need and to create a sense of intimacy very quickly,” said Debbie Deem, a victim specialist at the F. After a few days, weeks or even months of romantic and sometimes hotly erotic back-and-forth via email, text or Skype, come the requests for money.

Maybe the soldier needs a new cellphone so the lovers can better communicate or needs cash to get the necessary papers to go on leave so they can finally meet.

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a young woman in San Francisco, met a man—call him John—on the dating site OKCupid. More notably, he indulged in the kind of profligate displays of affection which signal a definite eagerness to commit.

He sneaked Suzanne’s favorite snacks into her purse as a workday surprise and insisted early on that she keep a key to his apartment. V.—an act roughly equivalent, in today’s gallantry currency, to Perseus rescuing Andromeda from the sea monster.

Of course, people have always been fools for love — it’s just that the global reach and altered reality of the Internet increases the risk and can make the emotional and financial damage more severe.“I don’t think there is a general understanding of how much of this romance scam stuff is out there, how it works and what the consequences are,” said Steven Baker, director of the Midwest region of the Federal Trade Commission.

“It’s staggering how many people fall for it.”Scammers typically create fake profiles on dating sites and apps like Match.com, Ok Cupid, e Harmony, Grindr and Tinder using pictures of attractive men and women — often real people whose identities they’ve filched off Facebook, Instagram or other social media sites.

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