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Surrounded by potential partners, she pulled out her phone, hid it coyly beneath the counter, and opened the online dating app Tinder.On her screen, images of men appeared and then disappeared to the left and right, depending on the direction in which she wiped.Where do the scammers get photos of themselves in these exotic locations and with these costly products? They troll other sites and steal other people's photos. Many are operating out of foreign countries, despite profiles saying they live nearby. When she declined, the messages got more desperate.Budgyk knows this from experience: A Nigerian scammer lifted photos from Budgyk's profile. Their photographs are also likely of someone else, and that would be tough to explain in person. He sent heart-wrenching photos of a young girl, who appeared to be his daughter's age, hooked to a raft of medical monitors."The story was getting more and more bizarre," she says.
"He said he was going to pay me back double," she laughs.But individuals who frequent them say scams are pervasive. Match.com, for instance, includes a disclaimer at the bottom of every onsite email between members, warning not to send money or provide credit card information to anyone you've met on the site."I probably hear from five scammers a night," says Marko Budgyk, a Los Angeles financier who has frequented several online dating sites over the past 10 years.When Morrison suggested that her suitor put his daughter on a plane to get better medical attention at home -- and even offered to pick the girl up at the airport -- a new crisis struck.By then, Morrison knew she was dealing with a scammer.
That's important to the con artist, who'll want to troll the site again for future victims when done with you.