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She has found that there are many misconceptions and stereotypes about who romance fraud victims and warns that anyone can fall victim to these schemes, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

“Some of these victims are doctors, engineers, lawyers, business women, teachers and I think any one of us with the right kinds of persuasion, persuasive strategies utilized against us could be a victim,” she told W5 in an interview.

“What are the things that make you tick, your kind of emotional passwords to your heart,” said Polowek.

“I’m sure they keep detailed notes of the victims responses and they craft themselves into that ideal person.” An ideal persona online that lowers victims defences and makes them vulnerable to send thousands of dollars to a fictitious character – someone they’ve never met.

While there he claimed he had an emergency: he’d forgotten his wallet with all his money and identification in a taxi.

Marc e-mailed Rosanna that he was getting help from the American consulate but, regardless, she offered to send money so that he could get by in the meantime.

It’s a lesson Rosanna and Ellen learned the hard way.

“It’s easy to fall into the trap it really is” said Rosanna.

Anyone can go online, set up a profile and start surfing the web for someone interesting.You can flirt without the awkwardness of seeing someone face to face and if there is no love spark, you can hit delete and carry on. Many of us know couples who met online and went on to have meaningful relationship.But a joint W5- investigation found a sinister online world where crooks and conmen lurk, pretending to be lonely hearts but in reality are seeking to empty bank accounts, and quickly move on – jilting their victims.“It was heart wrenching, it was absolute a pit in my stomach. Since 2010 Canadian victims have reported being ripped off for nearly -million.This is how the scheme works: perpetrators target those looking for love online.

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