Beth Kipps, who has experimented with several dating sites, says the men who have attempted to con her almost always have a reason why they shouldn't continue to communicate via or e Harmony.

Most commonly, the excuse is "My membership on this site is almost up.

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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.

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.

The crook will then lavish you with attention and flattery.

The idea is to get you to suspend good sense and become enamored with someone you've known online for just a few weeks and have never met in person. Kipps has decided that another tip-off is photographs that show all the trappings of wealth -- exotic cars, mansions, pictures in romantic foreign settings.

"The story was getting more and more bizarre," she says.

"But I hung on and kept communicating because I wanted to see the end of the movie." The ending came as no surprise to experts on romance scams.

"After a while, it becomes really easy to spot them." Here are six red flags to help detect and sidestep romance scams.

Let's leave the site: Online dating sites have the ability to monitor and boot members who exhibit problematic behavior or are perpetrating scams, so con artists want to quickly move their victims elsewhere.

That's important to the con artist, who'll want to troll the site again for future victims when done with you.