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One thing is clear, as the season of love approaches, whether you’re seeking your Tinderella or Tinderfella, it pays to be extra vigilant.

A romance scam is a confidence trick involving feigning romantic intentions towards a victim, gaining their affection, and then using that goodwill to commit fraud.

The deception can be obvious to observers — for example, the photo on this passport does not comply with regulations for size or pose — but these signs are often ignored by victims.

In the case of online dating today, many unsuspecting daters looking for someone special might find themselves being ‘catfished’.

Catfishing has become so prevalent that the Oxford English Dictionary has dual meanings for the word.

Some romance scammers seek out a victim with an obscure fetish and will make the victim think that if they pay for the scammer's plane ticket, they will get to live out their sexual fantasy with the scammer.

Other scammers like to entice victims to perform sexual acts on webcam.

Fraudulent acts may involve access to the victim's money, bank accounts, credit cards, passports, e-mail accounts, or national identification numbers; or forcing the victims to commit financial fraud on their behalf.

This falsified passport was used in an actual internet romance scam.

To catfish in this context, is someone who creates a false identity online, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.

The rise of online dating has brought the prevalence of catfishing to the fore; there was even a reality TV series called on MTV that featured people who were victims of deception for months — even years at a time.

Most often, being catfished may result in a broken heart and a bruised ego for the victim, but sometimes, these sophisticated scams can result in million dollar losses.

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