Dede (not her real name), who lives in Montgomery County, Md., thought she'd found him once. A mother of three, she divorced after 24 years of marriage."It was not my decision," Dede said. Of course, there's one sure-fire way of maximizing exposure to multiple potential partners, and that's by harnessing the power of the Internet.Still, she said, "it was something that needed to happen."Dede had been out of the dating scene for a while. Dede is not of the age that typically uses online dating.
He worked at the Pentagon, where he was the Army's top enlisted soldier.She can imagine him sitting at the computer with a spreadsheet so he could keep the myriad details straight."He was so smooth," Dede said. He had to have gotten money from women before."Dede is glad he didn't get anything from her — and she even got 18 roses and a box of chocolates."He's out that money," she said with a laugh."It makes me feel good."Dede thinks online dating services should do more to screen out scammers, but she ignored many of the warnings that has on its site, including to be suspicious of anyone who asks to chat on an outside email or a messaging service, and to not share personal information such as phone numbers and addresses.What particularly bothered Dede was the fact that her scammer draped himself in the patriotic mantle of the U. military, talking about his supposed service in Afghanistan.I asked Dede to send me the correspondence between Mark and herself. I did an image search on the photos and found a hit.