Online Dating Dangers

By Gray Hall - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – If you're thinking about finding love online, a warning, some crooks are seeing green! They're hoping to cash in on your need for romance. We have some tips to keep you safe while surfing for love online.

Susan Shashaty is looking for love. Like millions of people, she turned to the web -- online dating.

"Oh, it was too perfect. Oh, I didn't want it to be a scam. I really didn't," she said.

For 20 days she thought she had made the perfect connection, finally a match, just listen to how she was wooed. "I personally find interest in you, because you are very pretty sassy, witting charming," the love interest wrote to her.

Yep, this guy was good, but after nearly a month of love talk - her love interest was seeing green. He wanted $2,000 for a plane ticket from London to come and visit. She says he told her, "So we can meet face to face and go ahead with our love physically, below are my details you will use to send me money."

Her love affair was over - she knew she'd been had. Despite the fact that she was on to the deception - Susan says the emails and the denials kept coming. She admits she was blinded by love.

"I should have seen a little bit I think but the personality, the emails, and the photos back and forth, I guess, it was very deceiving," Susan said.

If you are into Online Dating, what happen to Susan can happen to you. Here are some red flags that you are not on the path the love: The person wants to leave the dating site and immediately use personal email. Instant feelings of love. The person claims to be from the United States but currently lives somewhere else and a Biggie, the request for your hard earned money.

"It's been a little difficult. Trust is a big issue now but trust is always an issue," Susan said.

She kept her money and is now using another dating website. Looking back at her situation, she says there were too many red flags to count. There was even a section on the dating website warning those searching for love to look for scams. She's hoping her story helps others stay alert while surfing for romance.

Don't be so quick to dismiss her dating deception. The Federal Trade Commission says every year they receive complaints about online dating scams. For Susan, Cupid hasn't struck yet, but she's been on dates and trust remains an issue.

"I am not giving up. It was just very disturbing to see that somebody could do that much work to get you hooked," she said.

For more online dating tips you can visit the FTC's website. You can also visit the federal government's online safety website, If you have scam, ripoff or a consumer issue you would like us to investigate, you can email us at

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.