The mainstreaming of online dating is a revolution in progress, one that's blurring the boundaries between "real" and online relationships.(AARP has joined this revolution, partnering with the online dating service How About We to launch AARP Dating in December 2012.) But the online-dating boom has also fueled an invisible epidemic.The picture — outdoor photo, big smile — was real, and recent.And her pitch was straightforward: Looking for a life partner …She filled out a questionnaire and carefully crafted her profile.It would have been easy to burnish the truth, but she presented herself honestly, from her age (57) and hobbies ("dancing, rock collecting") to her financial status ("self sufficient").According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), complaints about impostor ploys such as the romance scam more than doubled between 20.The FBI says that Americans lost some million to online-dating fraud in just the last six months of 2014.
A short message sent on a Thursday evening in early December 2013, under the subject line: Match? She signed up for a six-month subscription to Match.com, the largest and one of the oldest dating services on the Web.
Amy was charmed — Duane was nothing like the local men she'd met so far.
"You certainly have a great sense of humor and a way with words," she responded.
And she was full of questions, about him and about online dating in general.
"It is kind of a strange way to meet people," she wrote, "but it's not as cold as hanging around the produce department at the Kroger's." She also mentioned the deception she'd already encountered on previous dates — "lots of false advertising or 'bait and switch' folks," she wrote.