"It really can be heartbreaking." Williams urges victims to file a report with their local police department and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
"To be sure, similarity on some dimensions, like race and religion, does predict relationship well-being," two of the study's co-authors wrote in The New York Times.
"However, the vast majority of people mate with demographically similar partners anyway, so such findings aren't especially useful in helping dating sites narrow a client's pool of potential partners." The Times piece goes on to say, "None of this suggests that online dating is any worse a method of meeting potential romantic partners than meeting in a bar or on the subway.
The scams are easy enough to dodge — all it takes is 15 minutes. It's how much money can we make, so how little can we put out?
For starters, plug their emails into a search engine. " Scammers can counterfeit anything from dating site profiles to photos, email addresses, even seemingly official documents. "There's no way you can verify what's on the other end of a keyboard," Williams said.
"People have elaborate laundry lists of qualities they think they want in a partner, and they like online dating profiles that fit this laundry list," Eastwick said.