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According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, online romance scams account for higher financial losses than any other internet-based crime.

“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.

Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact.

They have even been known to telephone their victims as a first introduction.

I asked my dad about this experience, and here’s how he described it: he told his parents he was ready to get married, so his family arranged meetings with three neighboring families. That’s how my dad decided on the person with whom he was going to spend the rest of his life.

I am perpetually indecisive about even the most mundane things, and I couldn’t imagine navigating such a huge life decision so quickly. Happily so—and probably more so than most people I know who had nonarranged marriages.

Unfortunately, they're also used as effective hooks for different scams.

Last year, we outlined a list that corralled a number of the most common love scams that successfully toyed not just with online users’ hearts but also their money—likening it to Neil Gaiman’s notion of love and how it makes anyone vulnerable.

Their online connection endured through life changes (high school, college, jobs) and real-life romantic partners, until finally they met nine years later for a long weekend in Seattle, which culminated in a kiss they had both been anticipating literally for years.

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