Telegraph dating agency
After filling in the questionnaire, the man registered for the site and was delighted with the follow-up email he received.
It contained several profiles of highly promising matches all “waiting to contact him”.
He said: “I wanted to get back on the dating scene but I felt fragile from the split.
Most people on these dating websites are just looking for a bit of fun, but I find that all a bit seedy.
He claimed to be a high flier in a major American toy firm, but then managed to convince her to give him £200 for medical treatment, encouraging her to take out credit cards.
“Getting sucked into this made me feel really stupid,” Aileen said.
When the man complained to Elite Singles, it refunded him without a fuss, as it has a 14-day refund policy.
When contacted by Telegraph Money, Elite Singles admitted that disappointment over the number of paying members was a “very common” complaint.
Another Telegraph Money reader, who does not wish to be named, turned to online dating after his relationship came to an end in February.
Aileen was promised support from Searchmate’s highly experienced team of matchmakers, and a guaranteed minimum of 15 recommendations.
Online dating scams: new tricks that fleece victims of an average '£9,589' But in November last year, Aileen felt a growing sense of disappointment as five months had passed and she had yet to meet any men.
When Telegraph Money spoke to one of Searchmate’s agents, we were told matchmakers would go to “great lengths” to find matches for singles, for example putting up posters in local sailing clubs (if the client listed sailing as a hobby), or even posting advertisements in newspapers. She said she sent several emails to Searchmate’s agents since November but did not hear back.
In the meantime, she contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau, which provided some information on her consumer rights.
They were good-looking women in his local area with similar interests – world travel, theatre and cooking.