The photo showed a trim, silver-haired man of 61 with a salt-and-pepper beard and Wayfarer-style shades. And something else: He was a "100% match." Whoever he was, the computer had decided he was the one. Then, this message appeared when she logged on to her account. Thank you so much for the email and I am really sorry for the delay in reply, I don't come on here often, smiles ...I really like your profile and I like what I have gotten to know about you so far.
It could take months or years of dedicated persuasion to pull off a single sting. Technology has streamlined communication, given scammers powerful new tools of deceit and opened up a vast pool of potential victims.
Web-based dating services first popped up in the mid-1990s and are now a $2 billion industry.
"You certainly have a great sense of humor and a way with words," she responded.
And she was full of questions, about him and about online dating in general.
(AARP has joined this revolution, partnering with the online dating service How About We to launch AARP Dating in December 2012.) But the online-dating boom has also fueled an invisible epidemic.