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Searchmate had so far suggested four – two of whom she’d already seen on rival site Plentyoffish.com, a free site, and who had both already declined to date her.
In November she received a letter from a Searchmate adviser saying that her membership was “not progressing as expected”.
I didn’t want to put myself through all that.” The man, 54, from the North East, came across Elite Singles and thought it looked like a better bet for meeting someone more serious about finding a long-term partner.
He was also impressed with the advertised fact that 18,000 new members were registering with the site every week – giving the impression that he’d be spoilt for choice of potential dates.
It promises “affluent, educated men and women between the ages of 30 and 55, who are all looking for a long-term commitment.” It charges £180 a year for membership.
Another Telegraph Money reader, who does not wish to be named, turned to online dating after his relationship came to an end in February.
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.
In total, the site offered the man four suitable profiles “in his area” – none of which met his criteria.
One of them lived hundreds of miles away in Ireland and would be unreachable without an expensive ferry or plane journey.
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.
So in May last year Aileen stumped up £1,295 for membership.