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"I left my heart out there, and this guy took advantage of it," the 51-year old Best said.
In 2011, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center received 5,600 complaints from victims of so-called "romance scammers" -- criminals who scan online dating sites, chat rooms and social networking sites for potential victims.
"It is very very difficult, if not impossible, to predict initial chemistry using variables assessed before two people meet each other," said study co-author Paul Eastwick, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
"The algorithms are not scientifically valid and are extremely unlikely to generate compatible matches." In other words, matchmaking sites simply can't account for how two people will get along in person — chemistry, if you will.
From DNA testing to personalized matchmaking, there's no shortage of services promising to help you find love — for a price.
But for those of us looking to go a cheaper route, there's a solution: the internet.
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 14: Karen Brown (L) and Douglas Brown hold hands as they are wed during a group Valentine’s day wedding at the National Croquet Center on February 14, 2013 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The fact is that relationships, whether dating or married, are hard.But can a formula determine whether two people will have a successful long-term relationship? According to market research company IBISWorld, the online dating industry made 3 million in Canada in 2014.Services like e Harmony and promise to find you the best potential matches based on complex and tightly guarded algorithms.In a typical con, the perpetrator will spend weeks or even months building up a romantic relationship with a victim through e-mails, texts or phone calls, before eventually asking for money.And many of the scammers aren't even in the United States.