Here's how to protect more than just your heart when seeking a mate via the Internet.

A study about online dating and credit habits by Protect My ID.com, Experian's identity theft protection program, found that nearly half of the respondents never verify the authenticity of their chat mates, and nearly 10 percent actually sent them their Social Security numbers or bank account information.

While most people using online dating websites are genuine, charlatans comprise an uncomfortable proportion.

They may ask for your home or work address to send you a gift." Such tidbits are invaluable currency for identity thieves.

Scams vary Falzone contends that convincing people to charge up their credit cards is surprisingly easy.

Still, says Falzone, "It's an ongoing fight that doesn't end." What's a dater to do?

Use the computer advantageously, says Jennifer Leuer, general manager for Protect My ID.We offer a genuinely free online dating site by selling ads on this site. Ignore the ads and use the site without cost or obligation. We like to think that we offer the Best Free Online Dating Site.Furthermore, many singles love the site so much they send many many messages to local singles each day. The reason why is there are no gimmicks once you join.When the gentlemen take the bait, "again, something dreadful happens that requires the man to send money." Without enough cash, victims often charge the amount to rescue their dear one.Most need funds fast and press you to commit before thinking, Anderson says. They'll proclaim their love for you while they are taking your money." Schemes mutate with the times, and a recent one targets online daters looking for employment or better income.A popular scam of Russian origin preys on older American males.