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Watch out for on-line dating scams

READ MORE: Watch out for on-line dating scams
The internet is revolutionizing the dating scene from the traditional dinner and drinks to couch and keyboard. This offers singles many more options, but also poses many more risks. Many singles have been victimized or scammed by someone who wasn't who they claimed to be. It's important to know how to protect yourself while you're looking for love online. “People may not always be what they seem to be online,” said Scott Lawson of the Pender County Sheriff’s Office. “They can lie about their age, where they are, who they are, what they do for a living even." Dee Casey handles domestic violence cases at UNCW. She shares valuable tips for online dating. "Number one, protect yourself. When you do use a site, make sure that it's got a lot of privacy control. When you do any kind of communication, do not give out your real identity. When you do make a contact, use an e-mail that is different from the one you normally use, and that's pretty easy to do. When you have a phone conversation, block your phone number, make sure there's no way that that can be traced." If you think you may be in serious trouble, don't be afraid to ask law enforcement for help. The bottom line is when you're surfing for love online, use your best judgment. A scam that men in particular should look out for is the Russian Women Black List. has a black list of young and attractive mail order brides who con men into falling for them so they can get a fiancée visa. But once they get to the US, they take the guy's cash and flee. Their pictures and information are posted on the site to warn men before they're duped.

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