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"And the smartest person can be taken in during the early stages of the dating process.
Except now it's more sophisticated and easier for someone to lie and cheat and fabricate because they can pretty much change their identity to make it fit a new reality." Scammers, Levin said, "are experts at presentation of self.
There was no reason for Adam Hilarie to believe anything but the obvious: He had just been on a promising first date with a pretty girl.
"Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate," the FBI said just before Valentine's Day, adding that "the FBI wants to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams." Most victims walk away with lightened pockets and broken hearts.
That same month, a 36-year-old man was robbed in Ohio after getting together with a woman he met on Plenty Of Fish, according to
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.
The next night, her real intentions became clear, police told The Washington Post.
Bustos, 18, brought three men with her to Hilarie's place, including two career criminals on probation for violent felonies. When Hilarie, 27, responded to the knock on the door, the men overpowered him and dashed inside, police said. "Hilarie was begging for his life, he was not putting up any kind of fight, and was telling them that he had a 5-year-old daughter," according to arrest reports obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.