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“Finding a soul mate can cost you.” As the data breach of the adultery website, Ashley Madison.com, has shown, online dating doesn’t come cheap — in terms of monthly fees and, in extreme cases, public embarrassment and lawyer’s fees in divorce court.Hackers alleged late Tuesday that they had dumped account details and log-in information of around 32 million users of the website, revealing millions of street addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and credit-card details.Once it’s gone, money can be extremely hard to get back, according to Staff Sgt.Stephanie Burns of the Ottawa police anti-fraud section.At the two biggest subscription-based sites in the U.S., ( a month) and e Harmony ( a month), users can save by signing on for, say, a six-month bundle ( per month and per month, respectively).Daniel Williams of the anti-fraud centre said this is because organized crime can take on such fraud on a massive scale. They're doing the same thing to many people at the same time," he said.Williams said this means groups can go after small sums of money, as little as , but they have the capability to go after as much as tens of thousands of dollars.
But most subscription sites automatically renew until the customer cancels, and those fees can add up.
The victims are largely in their mid-40s to late 50s, with each gender as likely to fall prey to scams, said Sgt. Some have been cheated out of more than 0,000, he said.“It’s devastating, some of them have lost all their savings ...
It hurts their pride as well,” he said.“The victims are basically falling for that person, they have some type of affection going on, and the scammers take advantage of that,” he said.
shows as much as a third of Americans married since 2005 had met online.
However, criminals are also finding more potential targets — posing under a fake identity and trying to earn trust before asking for money.