The scammer cannot afford it, but offers to drive to meet you (or take a plane or bus), and requests money to help pay for this.
After you send the money, you never hear from them again - or you receive ongoing excuses to delay the trip and more requests for money.
If the victim doesn't figure out the con after the first request for cash, the crook will keep milking the relationship for as much as he or she can get.
When the victim gets wise, the con artist gets scarce. But the increasing popularity of online dating gives them the perfect conditions to proliferate.
They may want you to buy something with the money and send to them - or their trip falls through and they ask you to send the money back.
"The story was getting more and more bizarre," she says.
"He said he was going to pay me back double," she laughs.
Though the amounts and details of the scam vary from victim to victim, when it comes to romance scams, the con is almost always the same: The crook wants to get a besotted victim to wire money or provide access to a credit card.
Facts: If they can email a photo to you, they can email a photo to the site to be added to their profile for free.
The scammer is creating email address lists which will be sold worldwide and used for all sorts of purposes.