There can be several scammers at any one time using the same name and photo to steal from their victims.
A check or money order is only a promise to pay or provide funds.
Scammers are on dating sites, and social networks setting up fake profiles.
Scammers will pose under the disguise of beautiful pictures as either male or female claiming to be from the United States.
In the Romance scam the fraudsters have demonstrated that they are willing to develop the relationship over extended periods of time.
This increases the trust level between the victim and fraudster and will result in higher dollar losses.
Over the last three years, they said Canadians have lost more money to these scams than any other kind of fraud, despite the number of victims barely registering in the top 10 when compared to other kinds.
Daniel Williams of the anti-fraud centre said this is because organized crime can take on such fraud on a massive scale. They're doing the same thing to many people at the same time," he said.
Between long hours at work and not being sure where to meet someone, new singledom can be a lonely place.
On the surface dating websites appear to be the answer.
The only way to avoid an online romance scam is to be aware of their occurrences and also to know how to spot them before they begin.
Any individual with false romantic intentions towards a victim and by gaining their affection and trust (sometimes with the promise of marriage) gain access to the victim's money, bank account, credit cards or in some cases by getting the victims (usually unknowingly) to commit fraud on their behalf.
The scammer weaves a story of a successful business person working over seas, having no family; they present themselves as a thoughtful, caring and loving individual who is looking for their soul mate.