Online dating sites not charging fees

In some cases, legitimate romance blooms -- and the hope of that happening seems to fuel the booming memberships on these sites.

But the number of complaints being made against them suggests that buyers should proceed cautiously, as the sites cannot promise safety from predators. Sites popular with boomers, like e Harmony.com, and Our (formerly called Senior People Meet.com), charge monthly fees that range from to (less if you sign up using a discount coupon or for multiple months).

But just before his return date, he emails that he was robbed of his documents and money and needs ,000 to bribe the officials to leave the country.

Despite Match.com's efforts to educate its members about possible scammers, Traub said that "criminals thrive in every environment. There used to be mail scams." Jeffrey Norton, the lead attorney in the suit filed against and a lawyer at the New York-based firm Newman Ferrara LLP, said he doesn't think the sites go far enough to protect its subscribers, citing the growing volume of complaints.

One popular scam, Norton said, is that a man will pose as someone from a woman's hometown who is temporarily working on a government contract in Nigeria.

Also see the video of a 55-year-old widow who lost 0,000 in an online dating scam.

What started as a Facebook application in December of 2007 has become one of the largest online dating services the Web has ever seen.

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