It’s worse enough having to go through the horrors of online dating, but now you have to worry about getting scammed. The FBI’s annual report for 2014 revealed that people who go online to find romance were at the top of the list of Internet fraud victims. Women over the age of 40 made up 70 percent of the cases. The hopeless romantic and the less Internet-savvy can make a dangerous combination. Some of these people probably don’t even know to immediately use Google’s reverse image search after initial contact from an OkCupid suitor.

The IC3 (Internet Complaint Center) described many instances of romance scams where the culprit impersonated military personnel. The report, via The Cut, showed that victims of online dating scams averaged out to around $14,000 each. The perpetrator would convince the victim that they are in a relationship—without meeting them in person—and swindle money with lies of fake tragedies and other hardships. Scams involving the manipulation of social media were also shown to be increased in 2014.

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Hollywood, if you’re listening, I’ve got another remake idea for you. Inspired by these online dating scams, how about an updated version of the 2001 classic Heartbreakers, which starred Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt as a mother-daughter team who scammed unsuspecting men. Emma Stone and Julianne Moore can star as the modern version, right from behind their laptop screens.

Image via Shutterstock.


Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.