A paper published online in February in Management Science finds that on the whole, this feature backfires.The researchers selected 100,000 users of a large online dating site and gave half of them the ability to browse anonymously, which usually costs extra.They'd hit it off right away, and he said he lived just outside of Phoenix, which seemed relatively proximate to a woman in remote Yuma, Ariz. First, he was traveling through India with his daughter.Then the daughter became ill and had to be hospitalized.Anonymous browsing, for instance, allows users to look at people's profiles without the target knowing they got checked out—which can mean freedom from drawing unwanted messages.Yet it also erases any breadcrumbs that might lead to love.When the victim gets wise, the con artist gets scarce. But the increasing popularity of online dating gives them the perfect conditions to proliferate.There are no statistics saying just how common scammers are on dating sites.
But some of these advantages may actually be drawbacks.
Those who did, the FTC said, weren't told that the subscriptions would auto-renew until canceled.
The operators were accused of making misrepresentations to consumers and violating the Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act by not disclosing the terms of the subscriptions or allowing an easy way to stop the charges.
"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.