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One in five Americans between 25 and 34 years of age have used online dating sites, according to Pew Research.
As Internet romance has become more accepted in society — and grown into a more than billion market — fraudsters have found ways to monetize the search for a partner, with organized crime rings around the globe now getting in on the action.
Traditionally, most romance scams have originated in Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast or Vietnam.
However, this year, Iovation found most of the online dating fraud originated in the United States.
offering Americans the opportunity to meet other singles.
The majority of Americans who start an online relationship with a Ghanaian originally think they are corresponding with someone in the United States.
However, while fraud rates are relatively flat, it's becoming more sophisticated, said Molly O'Hearn, Iovations' vice president of operations and co-founder.
More than 5,800 romance scam complaints were filed with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2014, the last year in which data are available, with a total associated losses topping million.
The other key piece of advice is to use common sense.Regardless of the reason for the request, the American is usually so involved in the relationship that they send money on the first request.At this point, relationships have usually advanced from email to phone calls.Often, the American has spoken with the Ghanaian's "relatives" and/or visa broker and feels like a part of the family.Some Americans start to question the relationship after they receive two or three requests for money and no visit.