Two sharp blows that had left her alone in her late 50s. His cancer took him swiftly, before she had time to process what was happening. It had been over two years since the death of her husband of 20 years; four, since she had lost her mother.
"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.
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.
Duane suggested they both fill out questionnaires listing not only their favorite foods and hobbies but also personality quirks and financial status. An impostor poses as a suitor, lures the victim into a romance, then loots his or her finances.
He also sent her a link to a song, pop star Marc Anthony's "I Need You." "It holds a message in it," he told her, "a message that delivers the exact way i feel for you." Amy clicked on the link to the song, a torrid ballad that ends with the singer begging his lover to marry him. In pre-digital times, romance scammers found their prey in the back pages of magazines, where fake personal ads snared vulnerable lonely hearts.
Web-based dating services first popped up in the mid-1990s and are now a billion industry.
As of December 2013, 1 in 10 American adults had used services such as Match.com, Plenty of Fish and e Harmony.
And she was full of questions, about him and about online dating in general.