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    The growth of dating apps is one suspected culprit, though no studies have been conducted to prove a link between online hookups and the spread of STIs, said Wong. Last year, the province recorded 3, cases of gonorrhea, a dip from the roughly 3, a year earlier, but a major jump fromwhen only 1, cases were reported. On the other side of the country, Nova Scotia has also noticed a steady rise in gonorrhea and chlamydia cases sinceprimarily in the Halifax area, said Dr.

    Trevor Arnason, regional medical officer of health for the central zone, which includes the provincial capital.

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    There's been a slow increase in cases of chlamydia in Nova Scotia sincethough no rapid jump in the number of infections as seen with gonorrhea, said Arnason, noting that syphilis cases have been declining sincefollowing an outbreak among men who have sex with men in Along with reduced condom use, Arnason said there's a concern about the growing number of people engaging in sex with multiple partners, possibly facilitated by social networking sites and dating apps.

    With young girls and many boys in Canada being vaccinated against human papillomavirus -- a major cause of cervical cancer -- and changes to guidelines advising that lower-risk women be tested less often for that malignancy than previously recommended, there is likely less screening for gonorrhea and chlamydia, Arnason said. Such STI testing was often performed at the same time as a Pap smear.

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    Alberta, for example, recorded 4, cases of gonorrhea inup from about 3, the previous year. Inthe latest year for which national figures are available, there were almostcases of chlamydia, the most commonly reported STI in Canada, with females accounting for two-thirds of infections, says the Public Health Agency of Canada PHAC.

    Between andchlamydia rates increased by almost 17 per cent. The Nigerian dating scams target the lonely and vulnerable.

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    The most common comment of victims who think they have found the love of their life is "I can't believe I was so stupid! The Nigerian dating scams are hugely profitable.

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    The Nigerians call them 'maghas' which is slang for gullible white people. The scammers spend their day trolling the dating sites and chat rooms for contact emails, and then send off thousands of fraudulent letters and emails awaiting the victim's replies. They are offering the chance of finding true love and happiness, and there are plenty of takers! However sooner or later, the vulnerable hearts receive requests that will ultimately lead to financial losses and heartbreak.

    The scammers choose chat rooms and dating sites because the person in love offers the chance of the biggest payoffs.

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    How Does the Scam Work? The Nigerian dating scams are often not easy to detect as the scammers are often highly educated, have exceptional patience and they do their homework!

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    The scammers start by stealing a photo from an internet site. They prefer to use images of white people capitalising on stereotypes and perceptions.

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    The photos are usually of beautiful people and the quality of the photo is high. If you think you are being scammed, go to this site and browse all the photos to see if the person you are communicating has a photo on this site. Then you will know for sure it is a scam!

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    However they also use photos taken from profiles of other people on dating sites, so remember that the photos that scammers use are not photos of themselves - they are photos of innocent victims. They also use many aliases, emails, photos, gender, age and sexual orientation in order to cast their net to catch as many victims as possible.

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    Often the scammers use attractive female photo profiles because lots of men will respond to an attractive woman's personal ad based on the photo alone.

    They also tend to target middle-aged people looking for stable relationships. The rationale is that this type of person is likely to be more desperate, gullible and financially stable.

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    They then post ads with fake profiles on online dating sites. They also lurk in chat rooms and social networking sites as well as Christian and other religious-based dating sites. They then spend months chatting up and luring their naive targets with online intimacy.

    They often pretend to be foreign specialists [from the US, UK or Canada, but can be any European country]temporarily working in Nigeria or other African country.

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    A slight twist is is when the scammer pretends to live in the same country as the victim, and once a relationship has developed, then advise they are required to go to a west African country on an assignment.