KUSA - 9Wants to Know has shown how romantic scam artists succeed in tricking your mind, winning your heart and ripping you off. So how do you keep the bad guys out, while still leaving the door open for Mr. or Mrs. Right?
Scammers targeting online-dating sites
Christie Hartman is a Denver psychologist who coaches clients on online dating. She says first impressions are just as important online as in person. You want to look your best when you snap your picture and make your profile paragraph pop.
"A lot of times people's profiles are too generic," Hartman said. "They say 'I love the mountains, like skiing and going to movies.' They don't give a sense of what they truly love, so they just sound like everybody else."
Blog: My relationship with an online scam artist
Hartman warns some profile descriptions could make you a target for online romance scams.
"They target a lot of people who are divorced, who are widowed, who are single moms," she said. "So, a lot of times, they are looking for love. They are lonely."
Once you zero in on a potential match, Hartman says avoid "email marathons." Spending hours back and forth sharing secrets can create a false intimacy.
"You never want to develop feelings for someone you never met in person. That's a huge problem right there. Because when you meet in person, everything can change," Hartman said. "Until you meet, it is baloney."
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