In reality you're talking to a criminal sitting in a cybercafé with a well-rehearsed script he's used many times before.
He's hunting through chat rooms, dating sites and social networking sites searching for victims, looking to cash in on romance.
"He has a child and he's in Afghanistan and he's fighting the terrorists and he's a pilot, and I thought my prayers had been answered," Schuster said. Eventually, Smith asked Schuster to wire him some money to help support his daughter. She had sent him nearly ,000 before she finally realized the whole thing was a scam.
"I was really embarrassed that I could let this happen to me." Before you say to yourself, "That could never happen to me," consider the fact that the FBI recorded some 15,000 romance scams last year, a jump of 2,500 from the year before. Because it is practically impossible nowadays to date without some use of the internet, experts warn that you need to take precautions before jumping into the dating game.
"I was pretty upset because I felt so excited that I thought that I had met somebody," she said.
It could help stop a fraudster in his cruel and dastardly tracks.
In fact, they're someone you could see yourself spending the rest of your life with.
Illinois chiropractor Lilo Schuster fell for it, and fell hard.
But it is a necessary one in order to make certain that your new love is for real. At the same time, however, the FBI says to beware of an online suitor who quickly seeks to lure you "offline" or away from the dating site. Language matters Pay attention to your love interest's use of the language, both in their online profile and in chats and emails. "One sign is if there is weird spelling or punctuation," Hood said.
If you are also using an online dating site, it is easy for a scam artist to cross-check your name with your Facebook profile.
Keep your guard up We love to post on social media about our hopes, our dreams, our passions and our politics.
They use psychological tricks to lure their victims in, use poetry and even gifts to get them under their spell, and then once you are there, will try to reach for your wallet, all the time declaring their "undying love" for you.