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.Web-based dating services first popped up in the mid-1990s and are now a billion industry.
Now she was all by herself in a house secluded at the end of a long gravel driveway. At first, she just tiptoed around the many dating sites, window-shopping in this peculiar new marketplace. It wasn't until the fall that Amy was ready to dive in.
Later, when she puzzled over their relationship, she'd remember this. That had been a fateful move; it made everything easier for him. After the funeral, a grief counselor told her to make no sudden changes in her life for at least a year, and she followed that advice.
"It is amazing what people will do without conscience.
I think it is always best to be whom we are and not mislead others." By December 17, they had exchanged eight more emails.
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").
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.
The picture — outdoor photo, big smile — was real, and recent.
And her pitch was straightforward: Looking for a life partner …
But as financial crimes go, the love con was a rare breed, too time- and labor-intensive to carry out in large numbers.