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Her emails from a Gmail account arrived every two days and at first were full of the little details of her life, like walking in the park with her friends and hanging out for pizza.

When Dave's friends suggested 'Aleksandra' might even be a man, his mood changed abruptly. The Mount Gambier man shared the contents of the roughly 50 emails he received over three months conversing with 'Aleksandra' with ABC Local Radio, wanting to help prevent further victims.

The case is a textbook example of a classic dating swindle, said Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) deputy chair Delia Rickard.

If you do an image search and the person’s photo appears under several different names, you’re probably dealing with a scammer.

And if the person’s online profile disappears a few days after they meet you, that’s another tip-off.

Just in the month of January, Scamwatch data revealed Australians lost an astonishing $1.8 million to dating and romance scams.

Ms Rickard said it was important for people who had been duped by such a scam to both report it and tell their story."We know that when other victims hear victims telling their stories, that is when the penny starts to drop," she said."The more people stand up and talk about it, the better it is for other people."Do you think you may have been scammed?

Unfortunately, online dating scams are all too common.

There may be tens of thousands of victims, and only a small fraction report it to the FTC.

Here are some warning signs that an online love interest might be a fake.

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