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While most people using online dating websites are genuine, charlatans comprise an uncomfortable proportion.

According to Consumer Fraud, as much as 30 percent of online personalities are bogus. Because, says Donna Andersen, of Egg Harbor Township, N.

The thief will befriend an online dater, then "using stolen credit cards, he'll send jewelry, roses and claim he's traveling.

Speak up, says Amy Cananday, public relations manager for, the Dallas company that pioneered online dating.

"We encourage our members to never share their credit card information with another member on the site and report suspicious activity immediately." Falzone, though, recognizes that it can take more than caution to stay safe when conversing over the Internet.

The applicant then enters his Social Security number and other personal and financial data, which the thief uses to open new credit and loan accounts.

Other scammers postpone their crimes until the real life meet-up.