But as Valentine’s Day gets closer, we want to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely and vulnerable into fast money through a variety of scams.
These criminals—who also troll social media sites and chat rooms in search of romantic victims—usually claim to be Americans traveling or working abroad. Their most common targets are women over 40 who are divorced, widowed, and/or disabled, but every age group and demographic is at risk. You’re contacted online by someone who appears interested in you.
Mobile technology is another driver of industry growth.
Sites like e Harmony—the second largest online dating website in the U. "There are few stand-out investment opportunities these days," said Mark Brooks, an Internet dating industry consultant based in New York City.
Leading the pack is Match.com, owned by IAC/Inter Active Corp, the Internet holding company controlled by billionaire Barry Diller.
Analysts say is best positioned to capitalize on the surge, so much so that Topeka has increased the value of the company's stock to from and recommends investors purchase shares of IAC in anticipation of a spinoff.
(IAC announced in December that the dating website will be reorganized as a separate business called Match Group, with its own chairman, potentially setting the stage for a spinoff.) "A company like Match, they have the best potential to gain significant market share in terms of the number of subscribers," Anthony said.
He or she may have a profile you can read or a picture that is e-mailed to you.