Kylee Dennis is a happily married woman. She is 53, and she and her husband have two daughters together.
Recently though, Kylee has been pretending to be a 62-year-old woman named Samantha online. Samantha is single, having been widowed. She's from Sydney, she enjoys cooking, and she's looking for love.
Samantha's dating profiles don't have images, but they have been carefully curated by using a fake email address, and of course, a fake identity. There's an important reason why Kylee has done this - it's all in a bid to uncover just how insidious yet prolific online dating scams are.
The first time Kylee came across an online dating scam was when a girlfriend reached out to her - the friend worried that her mother was being duped by a man she was speaking to online. The friend's suspicions were right.
"She was excited but concerned about her mum, and she wanted me to take a look at this man's profile to see if he was legit," notes Kylee. "I happily did a bit of deep diving, and I also have previous experience of being in the police for 14 years. As soon as I saw the man's photos from his profile, I was concerned."
The man her friend's mum had been speaking with romantically for over six months was not who she thought he was. His photo and identity had been stolen - the man in the photo was a happily married real estate agent in the US. He was not the one messaging. His identity had been stolen and was being used by criminal syndicates and scammers, creating fake dating profiles in a bid to dupe victims out of money.