Love is blind, they used to say. And as this new technique for finding the love of your life grows, swindlers are cashing in on those eyesight problems. Many using the services are emotionally vulnerable and easy to fleece.
So vulnerable, the FBI said in a 2016 report, scammers stole more than a billion dollars from them that year. The losses and emotional pain are expected to grow.
That's what this book is about. It explains how the scammers work, how they think and plot, and how you can detect and avoid them. It's a very personal story, written by Clarence Jones, one of America's most honored investigative reporters.
After a divorce, Jones signed up with two online dating services. He was astounded by the massive fraud and deception he encountered. To do the research for this book, he eventually became a member of a dozen services.
He learned that many busy dating websites are interactive pornography. Some specialize in helping husbands and wives cheat on their spouses. And some dating websites have become a clever way for escorts and prostitutes to avoid prosecution.
He'll walk you through the process he encountered, step-by-step. This book can save you a lot of money; and help you avoid embarrassment and emotional distress.
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About the Author
His newspaper career began in 1954, while he was still in college. He worked full-time as Gainesville correspondent for the Florida Times-Union during his junior and senior years at the University of Florida. He graduated in 1956, and worked for the Times-Union and Jacksonville Journal until - as one of the nation's most promising young reporters - he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University in 1963-64.
From there, he went to the Miami Herald, where he became the first reporter in the world to use a computer to analyze public records.
He was part of a team of four reporters at the Herald who spent an entire year exposing corruption in the Miami-Dade Sheriff's Department. As a result, a referendum abolished the sheriff's department. Miami-Dade is the only county in Florida without an elected sheriff. His last assignment for the Herald was their Washington correspondent (1968-70).
In 1970, he left newspapers to take an undercover assignment for WHAS-TV in Louisville to show how illegal gambling had corrupted law enforcement and politics. He was under cover for eight months, carrying a hidden camera for daily visits to illegal gambling joints. His reporting there gained immediate national attention, and won the Ohio State University School of Journalism Award.
Two years later (1972), he returned to Miami as investigative reporter for WPLG-TV, where he specialized in the Mafia, dirty cops, and corrupt politicians.
His reporting for WPLG-TV earned three duPont-Columbia Awards - TV's equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. Only a handful of reporters for a local television station have ever won that award three times. He also won four Emmys for his TV reporting in Miami.
He taught a broadcast journalism course for five years (1976-81) at the University of Miami while he was still reporting.
He has seven other books now available in both print and e-book formats.