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“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.

(I know; red flag.) “He even called me, calling me ‘Mom’ a few times,” she says.

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.Scarcely had the boy recovered when he was struck by cholera, which required another expensive course of treatment.Within the space of about three months, Firefly wired the equivalent of about

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.

Scarcely had the boy recovered when he was struck by cholera, which required another expensive course of treatment.

Within the space of about three months, Firefly wired the equivalent of about $1,000 to Ghana.

So they have no idea that these scammers are out there.” While Mays admits that they can’t get victims’ money back, they can help get victims out of scary situations, especially when romance scammers resort to extortion.

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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.Scarcely had the boy recovered when he was struck by cholera, which required another expensive course of treatment.Within the space of about three months, Firefly wired the equivalent of about $1,000 to Ghana.So they have no idea that these scammers are out there.” While Mays admits that they can’t get victims’ money back, they can help get victims out of scary situations, especially when romance scammers resort to extortion.

,000 to Ghana.So they have no idea that these scammers are out there.” While Mays admits that they can’t get victims’ money back, they can help get victims out of scary situations, especially when romance scammers resort to extortion.

The most common complaint Scam Survivors receive is for “sextortion,” where scammers make tapes of sexual encounters with their victims, then press them for money in exchange for keeping the video private.Five years ago, he and a small team of international volunteers, including Firefly, created Scam Survivors, a hotline and information resource center for victims of online scams — mostly, as it turns out, romance scams. “With the romance scam, it could be someone who's been married for a number of years.The site tends to be a last resort for victims who are afraid to go to the police, or to tell anyone in their life what’s happened, because they’re ashamed. Their partner has either died or they've divorced and they've just started looking at online dating.Whatever you do, he adds, don’t ever pay them — that will only make a scammer more aggressive.As for Firefly, she now refuses to date anyone she doesn’t meet the old-fashioned way, face to face.If you do an image search and the person’s photo appears under several different names, you’re probably dealing with a scammer.