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Don't get caught in a scam Some advice from experts at the Better Business Bureau and Internet Crime Complaint Center: Be on guard.

Be especially cautious with people you only know through online messages and phone calls. Many scammers use fake photos to lure their victims but video messaging is much harder to fake.

In 2011, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center received 5,600 complaints from victims of so-called "romance scammers" -- criminals who scan online dating sites, chat rooms and social networking sites for potential victims.

The victims reported collective losses of .4 million, which is likely only a fraction of the actual losses since many victims are too embarrassed to file a report, the FBI said.

About 70% of the victims were female; more than half were women 40 years or older.

In a typical con, the perpetrator will spend weeks or even months building up a romantic relationship with a victim through e-mails, texts or phone calls, before eventually asking for money.I can be ur love robbort u can program me to make u fell enthusiast it so much amazine me how I fall 4 u jst in 20mins u hav become a virus in my brain dat I can't delete I tink am inlove wit a beautiful queen I Have ever mate at mobofree u are dis precious diamond am in love wit.By romeo939 First time I have seen your blog and what a great post that was!CNNMoney's attempts to reach "John" on his international phone number provided by Best revealed that it was based out of Nigeria -- a hotbed for online scams -- and has since been disconnected. Victims are then prompted to pay to have their name removed from the site.The FBI said there is no indication that the information was ever removed.When he told her days later he couldn't afford to eat, Best gave in, wiring him two 0 payments. soldiers serving abroad, then ask for money to purchase laptops, international phones or a plane ticket home so their fake relationship can continue. Army's Criminal Investigation Command says they receive hundreds of reports every month from people fooled by phony service members.