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In mid December the Department of Justice announced that seven men—six from Nigeria and one from South Africa—pled guilty to conning tens of millions of dollars from Americans via online dating sites.While the case was remarkable for its magnitude, when it comes to so-called “romance scams,” it still represents just the tip of the iceberg.Victims can be highly traumatized by this and are often very embarrassed and ashamed when they learn they have become a victim of a scam and that the romance was a farce.In some cases, online dating services are themselves engaged in misrepresentation, displaying profiles which have been fabricated, which use personal information from users who have not agreed to be depicted on the site social accounts, classified sites and even forums to groom new victims.Suddenly I had to stop doing new features and trying to acquire new users,” in order to keep up with squashing scammers.There was no dedicated screening service at that time, Winchester says. Well, he did along with an acquaintance, Nick Tsinonis, who already had expertise using machine learning to help match dating site users based not on their expressed preference, but on behavior.

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After the scammer gets all the money they can from the victim, the scammer drops communication, leaving the victim dumbfounded, hurt, confused, and out of a lot of money, which is rarely recovered.According to the FBI, romance scams and similar confidence scams cost consumers more money than any other kind of Internet fraud.In 2015, the last year for which data is available, consumers lost more than 0 million this way.I receive a TON of e-mails per year from victims asking for help (because they knew I always wanted to be a spy).Unfortunately, by the time the money leaves their hands, it is gone forever. The scammers use internet cafes and reroute money multiple times to untraceable sources, and therefore, their true identity cannot be discovered.