Dating websites lure to join

A small “v” encircled by a “C” on the profile page was the only indication that the profiles were fake.

Users were not likely to see – much less understand – this icon.

Membership plans cost from to per month, with subscriptions generally ranging from one to 12 months.

Bill Clark, one of the original investigators on the Twitchell case.

Once they have gained your trust and your defences are down, they will ask you, either subtly or directly, for money, gifts, or your banking or credit card details.

Often, scammers will pretend that they need the money for some sort of personal emergency or insist they need the money to travel to visit you.

As soon as a new user set up a free profile, he or she began to receive messages that appeared to be from other members living nearby, expressing romantic interest or a desire to meet.

However, users were unable to respond to these messages without upgrading to a paid membership.