But the apparent murder and dismemberment of Ingrid Lyne, a 40-year-old Seattle-area mother of three, has sent shockwaves throughout the cyber-romance world, with many begging the question: Is anyone safe?
Lyne disappeared last Friday after leaving to meet a date, who police identified as John Robert Charlton, 37.
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Similar warnings exist on popular sites e Harmony, Farmers Only, and OKCupid, among others.
According to recent figures, these requests for cash appear to be working.
THE COMPANY RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CONDUCT ANY CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK OR OTHER SCREENINGS (SUCH AS SEX OFFENDER REGISTER SEARCHES), AT ANY TIME AND USING AVAILABLE PUBLIC RECORDS." Still, clinical psychologist Dr.
Chloe Carmichael said even Charlton's criminal background was not enough to make an assertion he was a real threat — and that the public shouldn't be quick to point the finger at online dating.
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Unlike singles in the '70s, who cruised bars and discos and risked looking for love in all the wrong places, tens of millions of singles each day join and log on to online dating sites with the belief that their efforts to find love and companionship are safe and secure.