Except now it's more sophisticated and easier for someone to lie and cheat and fabricate because they can pretty much change their identity to make it fit a new reality." Scammers, Levin said, "are experts at presentation of self.
When you're dealing with the Internet, you don't need the resources that you might need in an interpersonal relationship, or face-to-face.
But on the Internet all you need really is to be very skillful at presenting yourself as something that you aren't.
A few hours later, the pair ended up at his place, where they talked a bit more and met up with his roommate. Bustos sent the single father a text afterward: She'd had a good time, she wrote to Hilarie, and wanted to meet up the following night at his place.
The next night, her real intentions became clear, police told The Washington Post.
Still, stories exist across the country of people looking for love but finding violent criminals instead.
In June, robbery victims in Florida told police they had shown up at hotels in Oldmar and Clearwater expecting to meet a woman with the screen name "Curvy Cameron 93." She never showed; instead, two men with guns held the victims up, according to NBC affiliate WFLA.
"Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate," the FBI said just before Valentine's Day, adding that "the FBI wants to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams." Most victims walk away with lightened pockets and broken hearts.
In rare instances, victims - like Hilarie - can lose their lives.
I stay way away from them." Ray, the deputy chief, said it's unclear if Bustos used her real name.
At a news conference, he said he suspected she was experienced with the scheme.
"Her comfort with the way this went, didn't seem like it was her first time," he said.
"If she hasn't done it before, then she has talked to people who have done it." It is unclear if Bustos has hired an attorney, and her family members could not be reached for comment.
As Hilarie bled out, Ray said, the suspects went downstairs, pulled their car to the front of the apartment and began stealing the dead man's Xbox, i Phone and TVs -- valuables Bustos had spotted the night before.