The picture — outdoor photo, big smile — was real, and recent.
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.
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.
This seemed to be one of the problems with online dating.
She resolved to be pickier, only contacting men who were closely matched—90 percent or more, as determined by the algorithm pulling the strings behind her online search. Back in college, she'd studied computer science and psychology, and she considered herself pretty tech-savvy.
Then she saw this guy, the one with a mysterious profile name—darkandsugarclue.
The photo showed a trim, silver-haired man of 61 with a salt-and-pepper beard and Wayfarer-style shades. And something else: He was a "100% match." Whoever he was, the computer had decided he was the one. Then, this message appeared when she logged on to her account. Thank you so much for the email and I am really sorry for the delay in reply, I don't come on here often, smiles ...
But as financial crimes go, the love con was a rare breed, too time- and labor-intensive to carry out in large numbers.