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There is usually the promise that the fictitious character will one day join the victim in the victim's country.The scam usually ends when the victim realizes they are being scammed or stops sending money.Five years ago, an Austrian woman decided to give online dating a try.(She asked that I only use her internet handle, Firefly, for reasons that will soon become clear.) It had been about a year since Firefly got divorced.

It’s not uncommon for victims to lose tens of thousands of dollars.

Letters are exchanged between the scammer and victim until the scammer feels they have groomed the victim enough to ask for money.

This might be for requests for gas money or bus and airplane tickets to travel to visit the victim, medical expenses, education expenses etc.

“My friends advised me to go online and try to find someone to share my life with,” she says via Skype.

Firefly spent a lot of time on her profile, thinking she needed to be entirely honest and open if she hoped to really connect with someone.

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