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"I was really embarrassed that I could let this happen to me." Before you say to yourself, "That could never happen to me," consider the fact that the FBI recorded some 15,000 romance scams last year, a jump of 2,500 from the year before. Because it is practically impossible nowadays to date without some use of the internet, experts warn that you need to take precautions before jumping into the dating game.

"I was pretty upset because I felt so excited that I thought that I had met somebody," she said.

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It could help stop a fraudster in his cruel and dastardly tracks.

Afghanistan (28), Albania (3), Austria (9), Czech Republic (11), Germany (82), Kenya (49), Macau (1), Maldives, Montenegro, Namibia (2), Nepal (29), Singapore (6), South Africa (56), Sri Lanka (21), Sweden (10)Short format: dd/mm/yyyy (Day first, month number and year in left-to-right writing direction) in Afar, French and Somali ("d/m/yy" is a common alternative).

"A lot of times English isn't somebody's first language, so that's completely understandable. S.-born and their writing just doesn't feel like that of a native-born person, that could be a red flag." That is because online dating scams in particular frequently originate overseas.

"From just a purely legal perspective, it's more difficult to prosecute people for doing this overseas," Hood said.

"They spend hours honing their skills and sometimes keep journals on their victims to better understand how to manipulate and exploit them." Meet in person Take a close look at your new friend's online profile picture. If so, it could be a stock photo, or a picture that a scam artist took from someplace else.