They develop a powerful bond with the victim, then urgently request money for any of various problems including unpaid wages, robbery, or surprise fines.
There is often more than one person perpetuating the scam - there have been reports of a room full of people working from the same script.
Often they portray their fictional selves as living overseas or on active duty in the military.
One of my favorite quoted expression is: "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." (Benjamin Franklin - 1706-1790) But there are also many variants, that are 'close' to swindle practices, but not (yet) labeled as real illegal organizations.
These are organizations that will use methods to keep you as long as possible as a paid customer, or those who ask far too much money for their services.
Many of those being targeted are senior citizens longing to get back in the dating pool."I got lonely and I spent a lot of time on the computer playing games, and I just happened to go to the date site," Janet Cook told us.