Does the profile specifically say they are an American Citizen? The reason is, real American Citizens don't go around identifying themselves that way.That is an abnormal statement, and therefore, a red flag.

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Often, either in the profile or in one of the first messages they'll send, they'll mention they are 'working' in a foreign country.

Be advised, the 'son' or elderly parent doesn't exist, and neither does Mr. The con artist mentions the fake son or other relative to lay the groundwork for conning you out of money. The rest of the profile can be written quite excellently - the reason is, they have cut and pasted paragraphs from real profiles and these are used to build the 'fake' profiles.

Some less polished con artists are still new at the game, and you may still see profiles in broken English and poorly written (not just bad spelling by a real person), which can be a very strong indicator of a problem.

His picture looks like he's a nice guy, and he's so cute. While many couples meet, date and even marry through online sites, not all online encounters lead to wedded bliss, and some can lead to financial or emotional disaster.

She's really young and sexy, and she said she wanted to meet you. Sadly, these con artists don't wear signs telling you to beware and run the other direction.

They are quite good at appearing honest and innocent, and extremely skilled in conning people out of their money, their virtue and their dignity.

Here are some common tricks used by professional scammers, and ways to avoid getting into their traps.

The written profiles of online scam artists on dating sites have gotten much trickier to spot in the past several years.

The poor writing and bad spelling so common a few years ago is less often as evident; profiles can be expertly written these days.

The best way to spot con artists through their profiles is to scrutinize the content.

Here are some things to watch for: Men Targeting Women: It's not unusual for these men to claim to be widowed, and frequently they will claim to have one young child (a son about eight years old seems to be common, for some reason, but it can be any age).