Is it a case of looking for love in all of the wrong places, or just a few bad apples in an otherwise happy bushel?Truth is, many boomers often reach their 50s and older and find themselves uncoupled, either through death or divorce; they don't know where to turn.And there is a class action lawsuit pending in the U. District Court that claims more than 60 percent of the profiles on are fraudulent -- something spokesman Matthew Traub calls an "unfounded allegation in a money-seeking litigation." Then there is another, perhaps darker, side to the consumer complaints: People reporting that they were bilked out of money by those they connected with through an online dating site.The Better Business Bureau listed online dating sites among its top 10 scams for 2011, and one consumer advocacy group says its members have lost millions from online dating scams.But not everyone who hopes to find a mate online is falling blissfully in love.There have been a rash of complaints against online dating sites, according to the Better Business Bureau.does not do background checks and tells subscribers as much.
People aged 50 and older represent 25 percent of membership on the popular dating site -- a 45 percent jump in the last five years, a spokesman said.
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.
"If you have an email address and want to be in a relationship, you can fall victim to this scam," she said.
"The fact that you are paying a dating site creates a false sense of security that the site is going to protect you from being taken." See our slideshow below for 10 tips from the Better Business Bureau to avoid getting ripped off in an online dating scam.