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Scamaroo review: PIN number swipes, extortion in Texas and shake downs in Chi-Town

Old scams sometimes find new life with online dating.

Stealing pin numbers of credit and bank cards is nothing new. But two Canadian men recently introduced dozens of gay male victims to the rip-off technique in a stealing spree throughout western Canada, CBC News reports.

Police say Saed Teeti, 36, and Mourad Aytour, 42, targeted men over age 55 that they met through online dating sites, the Edmonton Journal also reported. The recently arrested men would meet their victims at a public place and then get them to pay for a movie ticket or coffee. The con men would shoulder surf, or pick off, pin numbers of the victims. Later, the pair would have sex with their prey and then steal their credit cards and debit cards from their wallets. Soon gone was an average of $10,000 from victims' bank accounts.

At least eight men were swindled, and authorities suspect there could be up to 20 victims.

With swindles like these, it's no big surprise that the Better Business Bureau in Canada listed sweetheart scams as the most lucreative scam going in 2015.

In a different type of scam case, a 23-year-old Brownwood, Texas, man told authorities that he faced extortion after exchanging nude photos with a girl who said she was 18 on the Plenty of Fish online dating site, Joshua Peguero with KTXS 12 reported.

A man claiming to be the girl's father called the man later, said his daughter was 16 and demanded $1,200. If the money didn't come, the man said he would call authorities.

The Brown County Sheriff's Office is investigating this case as Internet fraud. The advice to others from deputies: Don't send nude photos over the Internet. 

Bad calls, bad falls
In all of these cases, the victims put themselves at risk by making poor choices. As for any background checks, what background checks?

In another online dating encounter got bad, the Chicago Tribune reports that a 26-year-old man with a new online lady friend was later robbed by a man when it came time to meet the woman in person in parking lot. She had claimed to be running late and asked him if he would buy marijuana from her dealer, with her to pay him back when she got there. Really bad idea for him.

When the victim had been robbed and tried to contact the woman he had been messaging, her profile had disappeared from the online dating site, which authorities would not name.

First of all, parking lots can be shaky as safe places to meet, particularly if they are off the beaten path, in dark places, or have poor visibility. Restaurants, cafes and indoor malls are far safer options, for example. And anyone who engages a drug dealer in a date is asking for major trouble.

This incident followed a similar story from the same Chicago suburb involving a 24-year-old man who went to meet a 21-year-old woman he met online only to be robbed and attacked by three men.

Scammers and dangerous dates who can imperil your heart, money and life are part of the dating world online and off. In all of these cases, the victims put themselves at risk by making poor choices. As for any background checks, what background checks?

Check out the InspectaDate Dating Safety Tips page for more on how to play a safer and better dating game.

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