But the real problem is that most often they keep the relationship secret and rarely discuss it with anyone else.
They may be aware of scams, but the offer that's being made is one that they prize.
Some people say they're non-smokers, then on the second date they light up.
Some say they're not interested in having kids, when really they'd love to have kids.
That's why particular groups of people become very good at it and the city or country from which they operate becomes well known as a scamming capital."Nigeria has become famous for its scams, known variously as "Nigerian letters", "Nigerian emails" and "Nigerian 419 scams" – the latter is named after the country's criminal code introduced to outlaw the practice.
"They actually know that falling for somebody so quickly, or trusting somebody they have never met, is against their better judgement."In the fake profiles, we frequently found inconsistencies in that area.For example, a gay man at some stage in his profile may say he is looking for a woman," Land says.Scammers bait their victims by posting fraudulent profiles on dating websites and, motivated by greed, they target people of any sexual orientation, race, nationality, age and location."However, their preference is for middle-aged, single men or women looking for long-term relationships because they are more likely to have higher incomes, more assets, be emotionally vulnerable and more desperate to attract a mate," notes Pan.