Use the computer advantageously, says Jennifer Leuer, general manager for Protect My ID.
"Google their names, check them out on [social networking website] Linked In or use the Net's white pages." As you're investigating, make your own profile mysterious.
For example, Protect My ID scans the Internet daily, searching for fraudulent use of Social Security numbers and credit and debit accounts.
If they spot illicit activity, they'll alert the member.
Other scammers postpone their crimes until the real life meet-up.
J., the Internet is good at disguising true intent. Sixty to 90 percent of human communication is nonverbal, so you're missing so much.
You're at a severe disadvantage." Andersen met her now ex-husband via an online dating service and says he lied about everything, took all her money and left her deep in debt.
In response, she founded Lovefraud.com, a resource to help others detect and recover from romance con artists.
More, sharing personal details is intrinsic to forming a relationship, but it also can expose you to fraud, says Paul Falzone CEO of Norwell, Mass.-based e Love, one of the world's largest brick-and-mortar dating services.