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And it's so much easier for someone to do that online." It's unclear how many people across the United States have been caught up in so-called romance schemes, although the FBI and the FTC have both issued warnings against them.
As the victim escorted the woman known as "Nikki" to his car, a man with a gun appeared and the pair robbed the victim of 0, then ran away.
Experts say people are getting better at spotting many of the Internet's longtime scams: They're suspicious of unsolicited emails from the Nigerian royal family, and they ignore the romantic entreaties of beautiful lovestruck women who sound vaguely like badly programmed algorithms. And on dating sites, would-be scammers have a trump card: People are irrational when they're looking for love.
"Romance is by definition quite irrational," Jack Levin, co-director of Northeastern University's Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict, told The Post.
In rare instances, victims - like Hilarie - can lose their lives.
Still, stories exist across the country of people looking for love but finding violent criminals instead.