Per the graphic — which pulls data from a number of sources, including Reuters and The Washington Post — online dating is worth more than one billion dollars per year, with the mobile phone dating market worth 0 million.
Consider Match.com, an online dating industry pioneer. Around that time, only 14 percent of American adults were internet users.
Today, about 95 percent of Americans, or 304.1 million people, are online, and many are surfing the Web for dates and mates.
In addition to losing your money to someone who had no intention of ever visiting you, you may also have unknowingly taken part in a money laundering scheme by cashing phony checks and sending the money overseas and by shipping stolen merchandise (the forwarded package).
In another recently reported dating extortion scam, victims usually met someone on an online dating site and then were asked to move the conversation to a particular social networking site, where the talk often turned intimate.
The pictures you were sent were most likely phony lifted from other websites.