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To avoid becoming a victim, Bernas said online daters should beware of matches who quickly ask to take the conversation offline to text or Skype.

He also recommends that online daters never send money or any personal information to someone they haven’t met in person.

1800s: Aristocrats Catch On Always on the lookout for ways to exploit media for their own ends, aristocrats in the 1800s used personal ads to broadcast their interest in romantic engagements that seem scandalous by today's standards.

An 1841 ad in the Journal of Munich tells of a 70-year-old Baron seeking a woman "between 16 and 20 having good teeth and little feet." (Well...

But as magazines and periodicals such as The Wedding Bell in the US and The Correspondent, Matrimonial Herald and Marriage Gazette in the UK hit the newsstands with immense popularity, matchmaking and personals took off as well, creating the first wave of true mainstream normalization for the personal ad.

Late 1800s: The Scam Emerges You know, someone's always got to ruin the party.

Less-Than-Fun fact: homosexuality was outlawed and punishable by death in the UK by wife-murderer Henry VIII and continued to be illegal until 1967. A., anyone accused of being a "sodomite" doing "buggery" was also legally sentenced to death as of 1776.) Coded words, female names and other signals in personals were channels to privately expressing vulnerability and find companionship that society forbade.

During this time, gathering sites for gay men known as Molly Houses were subject to regular raids by law enforcement. 1727: Women Get Smacked Down for Expressing Personal Desire In 1727, Englishwoman Helen Morrison became the first woman to place an ad in a Lonely Hearts column.

) Mid 1800s: The General Public Follows In the mid-19th century, the need to advertise for a husband or wife was still considered a "failure" and associated with deviant behavior for many judgmental straight, white, middle-to-upper class people.

consumers who've used dating sites in the past three years have been scammed by individuals who shower them with compliments, romantic texts messages and promised dates, only to bilk them for money, the Better Business Bureau said. consumers who’ve used dating sites in the past three years have been scammed by individuals who shower them with compliments, romantic text messages and promised dates, only to bilk them for money, the Better Business Bureau said Tuesday.

The bureau undertook the study when it noticed an increase in complaints about online dating scams, said Steve Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois.

Daters should always ask questions about specific details in profiles.

For example, if someone is claiming to be a member of the military, ask for their military address and email domain.

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