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But, it's not as effective as everyone would like it to be.They are hard to identify until the relationship has gone on for a period of time, he says.Nofziger says if you spot any of these warning signals, cease the interaction immediately and report what happened to the dating site.

Fraudsters often use profiles stolen off the Web from modeling agencies or military sites."Doing the Google search for the scammer lets you know if the photo actually originated from one of these sites, and isn't the actual photo of the suitor," Nofziger says.

"Another red flag is if the scammer forgets how to spell his name.

They work in teams, so during the day his name might be 'Steven,' and when the other guy comes on duty, it changes to 'Stephen.'"Reputable dating sites have an internal operation tasked with weeding out these fraudsters, says Mark Huffman, a reporter for Consumer Affairs, a news and advocacy organization based in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

Some online dating scammers post photos and profiles designed to lure singles to "chat." The, unsuspecting victims fall under their spell and are bilked out of hundreds and thousands of dollars. Several months and many lies later, he'd drained her bank account of $250,000. We meet Marlene in author Carole Brody Fleet's new book, due out in April 2016, "When Bad Things Happens to Good Women." Fleet also spent some time on Internet matchmaking sites, giving her expertise in spotting fakers."Don't be so anxious to get a date for Valentine's Day that you jeopardize your own safety," Fleet says.

Marlene (not her real name), an attractive, educated and successful woman, sought pen pals through online dating sites after her husband died. She encourages anyone involved in or considering the Internet dating scene to beware when the following happens: In the beginning, they might send flowers and even write poetry to charm you.

Once they've hooked you, the requests for money start.If you're suspicious, Nofziger has some suggestions on how to find out if your potential match is actually part of an online dating scam.Valentine's Day celebrates couples and togetherness, making this time of year difficult for the unattached.Yet, according to the most recent census figures, 44% of American adults are single.Not all of them want to stay that way because 40 million have turned to online dating sites to find a partner, says an article last month on What doesn't say in that story is not all of these online "daters" are looking for a loving relationship.