According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, online romance scams account for higher financial losses than any other internet-based crime.

It’s not uncommon for victims to lose tens of thousands of dollars.

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Don’t get me wrong, the vast majority of members of reputable dating sites (both paid and free) are legitimately looking for a sincere match, but there are red flags that you should look out for when embarking on the journey of online dating for the first time. Red Flag #1 If someone is too interested – too quickly – in getting to know you beyond the safety of your computer, this could indicate a problem.

If you have just met someone online and they are trying to encourage a meet-up before you really know them, they may not just be overly eager.

Some of the earliest forms of cybercrime were email scams, which continue to this day.

Here are five of the most common types: The foreign lottery scam is one of the most common types of email scams, in which you receive what looks like an official email from a foreign lottery corporation.

That’s when she realized she was being scammed, said Sheila, who asked that her full name be withheld because she feels ashamed and hasn't told her family and many of her friends what happened to her. The financial loss keeps growing as well: victims lost nearly $220 million in 2016, more than double the nearly $87 million lost in 2014, according to the FBI.

The Federal Trade Commission also had a spike in the number of complaints about possible romance-related scams, up more two-fold to 11,149 from 2014 levels.

Two months later, Greg asked Sheila, 49, to pay his taxes."I was resistant at first," she said. I guess to increase my trust."Read More: Sheila wired the money. The abundance of social media platforms, chatrooms and dating apps has led to a rise in romance scams where people pretend to be potential suitors to solicit money.

Then she received a message asking her to send more money for an anti-terrorist document fee. In 2016, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported 14,546 people were victims of romance or confidence scams, up from 5,791 people in 2014.

The subject line offers a congratulatory announcement, and may include the supposed amount of money you’ve “won.”Here are the sure signs your winnings are false: The best way to avoid the common email scam is to realize this one simple rule: If you did not enter the lottery, you will not win the lottery.