But then they suddenly need money for rent too, then food, then medical fees, and it can quickly escalate.
Nancy*, a 47-year-old single mother from North Yorkshire was conned out of over £350,000 that way: “I wasn't comfortable, and then I got so far in I couldn't get myself out, and I didn't want to walk away having lost £50,000 or what-have-you, so you keep going in the hope that you're wrong and this person is genuine,” she explained to the BBC.
A new report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has found that last year, singles were conned out of £39 million by fraudsters they’d met on dating sites and apps.One of the most common techniques is to build up trust with the person by messaging for weeks or even months before suddenly having an emergency - the fake person being mugged but their daughter needing urgent surgery, for example - and asking for money.The male profile is in his late 40s (48 is the most common age) with a high income.He presents himself as a widower, with a degree and of average height (5’10”).The two decided to meet "IRL" (in real life) days later. Traditionally known for reviewing products like household cleaners and washers and dryers, Consumer Reports surveyed nearly 10,000 subscribers in the fall of 2016 about online dating and then rated matchmaking sites based on their overall satisfaction.
Months after their first date, the couple discovered they had been classmates in preschool, and one year into their relationship Justin arranged to have the young students from their former school hold up signs that asked, "Will you marry me? How to boost the odds with a better profile: Use recent pictures (taken within the past year) and at least one good close-up headshot.
SOURCE: Consumer Reports "It's clear that online dating websites play a major role in the lives of many consumers — we invest a tremendous amount of time, money and emotional energy.
It really is a consumer issue worthy of our attention." said Margot Gilman, money editor for Consumer Reports.
"Unlike shopping for a bank or a refrigerator, in the case of online dating, the refrigerator has to like you back," Gilman said.
"There is a different level of exposure to disappointment and that's captured in the poor overall scores." Once considered taboo, online dating is now a socially accepted and booming multibillion dollar business that continues to grow.
Overall, respondents preferred free sites like Ok Cupid, Tinder and Grindr over paid sites like Match and e Harmony, in part because of the value.