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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.

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.

It offered her “unlimited personal introductions” to men serious about finding a relationship.

Aileen was promised support from Searchmate’s highly experienced team of matchmakers, and a guaranteed minimum of 15 recommendations.

In the meantime, she contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau, which provided some information on her consumer rights.

Searchmate has disputed Aileen’s claims and said it had not received any correspondence from her after the letter was sent in November.

It claims to offer a “safer and more credible alternative” to dating websites.

When Telegraph Money spoke to one of Searchmate’s agents, we were told matchmakers would go to “great lengths” to find matches for singles, for example putting up posters in local sailing clubs (if the client listed sailing as a hobby), or even posting advertisements in newspapers. She said she sent several emails to Searchmate’s agents since November but did not hear back.She says she “isn’t looking for a major spark” but is searching for a man with a good sense of humour to share her life with. The first blow was when she fell victim to a scammer on an online dating site.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.Searchmate has now offered Aileen a full refund of £1,295.Last year, 7.1 million single Britons looked for a partner online, 800,000 more than in 2011, when, according to uk, there were 6.3 million.

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