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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.

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.

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.

The restaurant is a white painted weatherboard, simple but well-kept, set on the edge of a lake, separated from it by an expansive deck, dotted (not packed) with tables and comfortable chairs….

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.) But the online-dating boom has also fueled an invisible epidemic.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), complaints about impostor ploys such as the romance scam more than doubled between 20.

The FBI says that Americans lost some million to online-dating fraud in just the last six months of 2014.

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