"If you're keeping a relationship secret from your family and friends, you want to ask yourself why that is," Crandall said.
Keeping your lover's identity, or their requests to you, a secret, indicates something could be happening that might not be above-board.
"A lot of people end up paying off a debt that isn't theirs, or they end up having to file for bankruptcy.
"We see a lot of people being held responsible for [debts incurred by scammers]," Crandall said.
In real-life dating, as with dating online, a little bit of internet sleuthing can go a long way, according to Crandall.
So the real numbers are probably much higher than we even know." But it's still important to report criminal activity, even if it's embarrassing.
"You can refer the matter to the Saint John police or the RCMP when you have a real-life, non-online situation," Crandall said, adding that real-life scams are easier to prosecute, since those scammed online might not even know the person's location or real name.